ISTANBUL Jan 8 A snowstorm that sharply reduced
visibility in Turkey's Bosphorus Strait forced maritime
authorities to shut the key shipping channel on Tuesday,
shipping agent GAC said.
Traffic for all northbound and southbound vessels was
suspended at 11:45 a.m. (0945 GMT) because of the poor
visibility, GAC said in an email. It was the second day of
The snowstorm also prompted flag carrier Turkish Airlines
to cancel 76 flights scheduled for Tuesday and
Wednesday, after cancelling dozens of flights on Monday due to
the weather, according to its website.
GAC said the Dardanelles Strait at the other end of the Sea
of Marmara remained open to tanker traffic.
The Bosphorus and Dardanelles are the only maritime outlet
for oil, grain and other commodities from Russia and other Black
Sea countries. Poor weather frequently forces their closure in
Each year, some 10,000 vessels carrying 150 million tonnes
of oil and petroleum products pass through the straits.