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Turkey joins Svalbard Treaty, Expanding opportunities in the Arctic region

2023-10-11 21.32.25

In a significant development, Turkey has officially ratified the historic Svalbard Treaty, which is over a century old. This international agreement opens the door for Turkish citizens to invest in property, establish residence, and engage in commercial activities within the northern archipelago, marking a pivotal moment in Turkey’s Arctic engagement.

The Svalbard Treaty, in existence for 103 years, allows signatory nations to partake in the unique privileges of living and conducting business activities in the Arctic region, situated near the North Pole. Turkish citizens can now take advantage of this treaty, enabling them to explore and invest in a region renowned for its natural beauty and economic potential.

With the ratification of the treaty, Turkish nationals gain “equal rights to fish and harvesting” in the Svalbard region. This significant development provides new avenues for Turkish individuals and companies to participate in Arctic activities, expanding opportunities in the fields of fishing, industry, mining, and trade.

Turkey’s participation in the Svalbard Treaty aligns with the country’s broader strategy to establish a presence in the Arctic region, where nations are increasingly exploring possibilities for resource extraction, tourism, and scientific research.

Background
The Svalbard Treaty, also known as the Spitsbergen Treaty, was initially signed in 1920 and came into force in 1925. It grants signatory countries the right to conduct economic activities on the Svalbard archipelago, a group of islands located in the Arctic Ocean. These islands are considered a demilitarized zone, and the treaty regulates their governance and resource utilization.

The primary objective of the treaty is to promote international cooperation and scientific research in the Arctic region. It ensures that all signatory nations have equal rights to establish commercial operations, including fishing and mining, and maintain a presence on the islands.

Turkey’s decision to ratify the Svalbard Treaty signifies its commitment to expanding its global influence and pursuing opportunities in the Arctic. As the effects of climate change continue to reshape the Arctic landscape and make its resources more accessible, various countries, including Turkey, are seeking to participate in the region’s economic and environmental activities. This move not only opens up economic possibilities but also allows Turkey to play a more prominent role in Arctic affairs and collaborate with other nations in addressing the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the Arctic region.

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