The channel passing between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara is named the Istanbul Bogazi, more commonly called the Bosporus. Istanbul is positioned at the south end of the Bosporus. The Sea of Marmara is connected to the Aegean Sea by a channel called the Canakkale Bogazi, also known as the Dardanelles. Turkish straits are one of the most difficult to navigate waterways in the world for maritime traffic due to dense traffic and their unique physical, hydrological and oceanographic characteristics with complicated navigational conditions. The total distance of both the straits of Istanbul and Canakkale is approximately 300 km (200 nautical miles), which for an average vessel takes about 16 hours to navigate.
Turkey is in a position of a bridge between Asia and Europe and has a unique strategic place both for transportation purposes and geo-politically. Turkish straits in general comprised of Istanbul and Canakkale and part of the Sea of Marmara located fully in Turkey's internal waters. As the only water route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the Turkish straits geographically separate and connect Europe to mainland Asia while connecting many Black Sea countries to the rest of the world by sea.