Balkans: April 9, 2000


The Antiguan-registered freighter, the Jessilena, ran aground in the Bosphorous near the upscale Istanbul suburb of Bebek. The ship was sailing from Istanbul's Haydarpasa port facility to Rumania. The Bosphorous is very narrow near Bebek. (Trust me on this one -- I've stayed in the Bebek Hotel, on the water, right where this accident occurred.) What's the significance? Turkey is extremely worried about increased ship traffic in the Bosphorous --especially oil tanker traffic. The Turks will use the accident as another example of why an oil pipeline through Turkey makes more environmental and economic sense than a pipeline terminating in Georgia that requires tanker shipment through the Turkish Straits. (Austin Bay)


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