Sea of ​​Marmara

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Sea of ​​Marmara (Mediterranean Sea)
Sea of ​​Marmara
Sea of ​​Marmara
Location of the Sea of ​​Marmara Coordinates: 40 ° 43 ′ 21 ″  N , 28 ° 13 ′ 29 ″  E
The Marmara Sea
The Bosphorus , Istanbul and the Sea of ​​Marmara in the background

The Sea of ​​Marmara ( Turkish Marmara Denizi , in ancient times Propontis ) is an inland sea of the Mediterranean . It connects the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea via the Bosporus and Dardanelles . Water with little salt flows on the surface from the Black Sea through the Sea of ​​Marmara into the Mediterranean Sea. The convenient location facilitated the development of the metropolis of Istanbul on the north bank.

The Sea of ​​Marmara lies between Europe and Asia and has a European north and an Asian south coast. It thus represents a section of the inner Eurasian border . The sea lies on the North Anatolian fault and is therefore a frequent scene of earthquakes and tsunamis.

The rich fishing ground, in which anchovies in particular are caught, suffers from the industrial core area on the north shore of the sea as well as from the excessive shipping traffic caused by the central location of the sea. This strategic location also contributed to the fact that the passage through the sea was and is contested, since the sea is also a Turkish inland sea, but its navigation is subject to multilateral treaties.

Origin of name

This sea got its name (meaning: Marble Sea) from the Marmara Island (marble island ; in ancient times Prokonnesos ), which is 21 km long and 10 km wide, covers about 130 km² and in addition to the famous white marble (hence the name) especially supplies wine, grain and olives. In some other languages ​​it is called the “Marble Sea”.


Exit of the Bosphorus into the Sea of ​​Marmara in Istanbul

Location and shape

The sea from Gelibolu to İzmit is 282 km long and 80 km wide. The Marmara Sea covers an area of ​​11,655 km², of which 182 km² are islands, the volume is 3378 km³. The coastline is 928 kilometers, the sea is completely surrounded by the Marmara region of Turkey.

The water depth near the coast is usually only 50 meters and is around 1355 meters at the deepest points. In the east it forms the Gulf of İzmit , in the southeast the Gulf of Mudanya . The Marmara Sea is connected to the Aegean Sea by the Dardanelles and to the Black Sea by the Bosphorus (Strait of Istanbul) .

The Marmara Trench takes up almost half of the sea area and reaches depths of 1300 meters. About 57% of the area consists of flat shelf areas. The Marmara Trench is divided into three large basins, the Çınarcık Basin , the Central Basin and the Tekirdağ Basin . Between the Çınarcık and central basins is the smaller Silivri basin. The basins are separated from each other by complex faults that reach depths of around 500 to 700 meters. They are separated from the shallower sea by steep slopes.

In the southern half of the sea there is a shelf area that is less than 100 meters deep. There, too, there are several basins and hills, but most of them are filled with sediments. The rivers Biga Çayı , Gönen Çayı and Nilüfer Çayı , which flow into the sea from the south , are believed to carry sufficient sediments with them to cover up the irregularities of the soil.

Salinity and currents

Satellite image of the sea; the clearly visible current from the Bosporus determines the surface hydrography of the sea

The water circulation in the Sea of ​​Marmara follows the same pattern as that in all Turkish straits: on the surface, low-salt surface water flows south from the Black Sea, since the Black Sea lies above the Aegean Sea . In deeper water layers, the different salinity between the salty Aegean and the salty Black Sea determines the water balance, so that deep currents flow from the Aegean through the Marmara Sea into the Black Sea. Around 587 km³ of brackish, light water flows from the Marmara Sea into the Aegean Sea each year, and 381 km³ of heavy, salty water flows in the opposite direction.

In the Sea of ​​Marmara, two layers of water can be clearly separated, which are separated by a transition layer about eight to ten meters wide. On the surface to a depth of about 15 meters there is water from the Black Sea with a salinity of about 18, with the salt content increasing towards the Aegean Sea. The layer has a volume of around 230 km³ and is completely renewed in four to five months. The layers are hardly connected to each other, so that the deeper layer is dependent on the influx of oxygen-rich water from the Aegean Sea. Only because of the conditions in the Marmara Sea itself would the same anoxic conditions occur in deeper water layers as in the deep water layers of the Black Sea.

In the deeper layers of the Aegean Sea, the salinity is 38. Especially in winter there is stronger mixing near the mouths due to cooling and sinking effects as well as storms, so that the salinity near the Bosphorus rises to 23 in these months. The deep water layer has a volume of 3378 km³ and takes six to seven years to renew itself once.

The main surface current is clockwise, driven by the incoming water through the Bosporus. Variances over the year result from increased Bosphorus currents in the spring months influenced by the snowmelt and from storms in the winter months.

These flow conditions and the aforementioned water stratification came about about 7000 years ago.


The climate over the Marmara Sea reflects the middle position between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Although there is generally a Mediterranean climate , the drought in summer is moderated in comparison. The amount of rain in summer is around 40 millimeters / month in the northeast and 10 mm / month in the Dardanelles area. In winter it rains an average of 10 to 15 days a month, with around 120 mm of precipitation. In the north of the sea, most of the precipitation can fall as snow in January and February. In the winter months, temperatures in the north of the sea can drop below zero, but rarely stay at this level for the whole day. Fog occurs on about one or two days a month in winter, a local high is on the south coast, where the long-term average increases up to four rainy days.

In the Sea of ​​Marmara, northeasterly winds prevail (around 60%), followed by southeastern winds with 20%. The average wind speed is four meters per second. Strong wind events with wind speeds between 8 and 25 m / s with a duration of more than 16 hours mainly occur in the winter months near the Bosporus. The north-eastern summer winds are much more pronounced on the European north side than on the south side, where the numerous islands also offer protection from the weather.

Coast and cities

Ferry in front of İzmit on the east coast

While the south-east coast is characterized by mountains and the inflow of several large rivers into the Sea of ​​Marmara, the north coast is much flatter, the Thracian Plain continues at least in parts to the Sea of ​​Marmara. The economic and industrial center of Turkey is located in the coastal zone of the Sea of ​​Marmara, especially on the north coast. A quarter of the Turkish population lives in the area of ​​the Marmara Coast.

The entire coastal region of the Marmara Sea is urban, ports and industrial facilities can be found along the entire coastal region. The urban densification reaches its peak especially in the northeast between Bursa and especially Istanbul. In addition to Istanbul and Bursa, there are three larger and important cities: İzmit , Bandırma , Tekirdağ .

The dominant city on the Sea of ​​Marmara is the metropolis of 13 million people, Istanbul, which lies on both sides of the mouth of the Bosphorus in the Sea of ​​Marmara. It goes to the two cities of Chalcedon , founded in 688 BC. BC, on the Asian side of the coast and Byzantium , founded in 671 BC. BC, back on the European side of the estuary. While the port of Constantinople was originally on the Golden Horn in the Bosphorus, with the rise of the city it turned out that it was difficult to reach from the south, and large artificial docks on the Marmara Sea soon followed.


The islands in the Sea of ​​Marmara are mainly located on the southern, Asian side, on which the shelf area is significantly wider. There are the groups of the Marmara Islands and the nearby Kapıdağ peninsula , the Mola Island and İmralı . The Prince Islands are on the Asian side of the sea, but north of the Marmara Trench. The Marmara Islands are located in the southwestern part of the Marmara Sea. Four of the seven islands are inhabited: Marmara Island , Avşa , Paşalimanı and Ekinlik , Avşa in particular is characterized by tourism.


Formation of the Sea of ​​Marmara

Approach to Tethys / Mediterranean and Paratethys at the time of their separation about 33 million years ago

The exact origin of the Marmara Basin and its connections to the Mediterranean and Black Sea have not been conclusively clarified. The Mediterranean is a remnant of the Tethys primeval ocean . From this, the unfolding mountains in southern Europe ( Pyrenees , Alps , Carpathians , Dinaric Mountains , Taurus Mountains ) separated the Paratethys , which had been enclosed by land for the longest time , the remains of which are the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea . The Marmara Sea area originally belonged to the mountain range that separated the Mediterranean Sea and Paratethys.

About six million years ago, the sea began to be shaped by the activities of the Anatolian plate and the formation of the Marmara Trench, at least at that time it was at least temporarily connected to the Parathetys and the Mediterranean Sea. Fossils that are a few million years younger suggest that three million years ago there was no contact between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of ​​Marmara, so that there must have been another increase in the region.

There is also no consensus among scientists as to how the connection to the Black Sea has developed over the past millennia. The traditional and most widely accepted theory is that the Sea of ​​Marmara dates back to around 8200 BC. Reached the water level in order to flow over the Bosphorus, and that the conditions have not changed further in the last millennia. The deluge thesis by William Ryan and Walter Pitmann , published in 1998, on the other hand, implies that the connection did not develop until around 5500 BC. Formed, whereby the Black Sea several hundred meters below was flooded like a catastrophe. Another connection between the Sea of ​​Marmara and the Black Sea than over the Bosphorus, for example over the Gulf of İzmit, Sapanca Gölü or the valley of the Sakarya, is also possible. That the Marmara Sea has been around since around 11000 BC. Was connected to the Aegean Sea, however, is undisputed, since the Dardanelles are significantly deeper than the Bosporus.

The North Anatolian Fault

The extension of the North Anatolian Fault , which continues through the Dardanelles in the northern Aegean, runs through the Sea of ​​Marmara . In this transform fault , the Eurasian and African plates run against each other. Presumably the Anatolian Plate has split off from the African Plate. Pushed by the Arabian plate in the east and influenced by the African plate, which is pushed under the Anatolian plate, the Anatolian plate moves about 25 mm west of the Sea of ​​Marmara. On the Aegean Sea it slips under the Eurasian plate. This constellation repeatedly causes severe earthquakes.

The North Anatolian Fault ( NAF - North Anatolian Fault ) splits to about 31 degrees east longitude into three main arms, two of which run through the Marmara. The middle main arm runs along the south coast of the sea, the northern arm through the Marmara Trench . The northern arm in particular has numerous branches and is the most seismically active of the three arms. He is particularly responsible for major earthquakes that hit Istanbul. The last of these occurred in 1509 .

While the North Anatolian fault is a comparatively simple line over most of the stretch, the fault at the bottom of the Marmara Sea is several kilometers wide. For a long time it was disputed whether the North Anatolian fault continued there or whether there was a transition zone in the Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea, just as the number and structure of the faults on the seabed were uncertain. The measurement techniques are now much more sophisticated. Geology interprets the basins as the stretched structures of an NAF arm.


Successive earthquakes along the North Anatolian Fault. Since 1939 earthquakes have been moving further and further west towards the Sea of ​​Marmara. The last one, the 1999 earthquake in Gölcük on the Gulf of İzmit, has not yet been recorded here.

Historical records speak since 1300 BC. Of 300 earthquakes and forty severe tsunamis in the Sea of ​​Marmara, most of them in the Gulf of İzmit. The last one occurred on August 17, 1999, reached a height of 2.50 meters on the north coast of the Gulf and was triggered by the Gölcük earthquake on the northern arm of the North Anatolian Fault. In the last 100 years it can also be observed that a series of severe earthquakes along the North Anatolian Fault move west, of which the earthquake of Gölcük with a magnitude of 7.4 on the Richter scale was the last so far.

Geologists assume with a probability of around 30-70% that a major earthquake with a magnitude of more than 7 will occur in the Sea of ​​Marmara by 2030 , probably not far from Istanbul. Risk calculations assume that a possible earthquake with the greatest magnitude would result in around 40,000 deaths and over a million homeless people in Istanbul. On the east coast, Bursa , Kocaeli and Sakarya are at risk; in the worst case, 35,000 fatalities are expected for Bursa, and over 10,000 for the other two cities. Another 35,000 deaths in the adjacent rural areas could be added.

Flora and fauna

Together with the Adriatic Sea , the Sea of ​​Marmara is the area with the highest primary production in the comparatively nutrient-poor eastern Mediterranean. Both regions are characterized by significant water inflows from river systems, which bring strong currents and strong seasonal changes in the water balance. Both are factors that stimulate primary production. The dependent production of zooplankton in the Sea of ​​Marmara is 12,000 individuals per m³ compared to around 1500 in the northern Aegean, the biomass of 90 milligrams / m³ is about twice as high as in the Aegean. The number of green algae and brown algae is subject to seasonal fluctuations, but is more or less balanced in the long term, as water from the green algae- dominated Black Sea and the brown algae-dominated Aegean mix here.

The zooplankton depends on that of the Mediterranean and thus also that of the Atlantic west of the Strait of Gibraltar. Apart from some deep-sea species, the types of tropical habitats and some subtropical species, all taxonomic groups of the Atlantic are also found in the Sea of ​​Marmara.

The sea is a transition zone between the Black Sea and the Aegean / Mediterranean. That means: it serves various living beings as a barrier, corridor and acclimatization zone. As a barrier, it forms the limit of distribution between warm water-loving sea creatures of the Mediterranean Sea and creatures of the Black Sea that have adapted to colder, salty water. On the other hand, there are many species of fish, birds and marine mammals that move through the Sea of ​​Marmara between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and use the Sea of ​​Marmara to adapt to the other living conditions. Fish that overwinter in the Sea of ​​Marmara while spawning and spending the summer in the Black Sea are bonito, Mediterranean mackerel and blue fish . The tuna species bluefin tuna , albacore tuna and thonine followed these schools of fish in the earlier decades, and the tuna migration is documented in large numbers until the 1960s. In the meantime, however, all three species have presumably become extinct due to the heavy pollution in the Black Sea, and the Marmara populations have declined accordingly.

As in the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, but not in the rest of the Mediterranean Sea, harbor porpoises are found in the Sea of ​​Marmara . However, their number has fallen dramatically in the last few decades. Until 1983 they were still a frequent target of Turkish fishermen, since then the increasing pollution of their habitat has made them difficult, which among other things makes them more susceptible to epidemics. Commercial fishing poses a threat to them, as they can end up as bycatch , but also because overfishing of the sea robs them of their food resources. Bottlenose dolphins and especially common dolphins occasionally migrate from the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea.

Human use

Legal status

Ships wait on the Marmara Sea to enter the Bosphorus

The Sea of ​​Marmara is completely surrounded by Turkish territory and is legally considered a Turkish interior. Because of its importance for international shipping, it is subject, like the other parts of the Turkish Straits, to the 1936 Treaty of Montreux . According to the treaty, all non-military ships are free to cross the sea at any time without any formalities. This also applies in times of war, unless Turkey is in a state of war, in which case it may deny its direct opponents access to the sea.

Warships from countries bordering the Black Sea are allowed to pass if they have given Turkey a message eight days before the passage; warships from other countries must do so 15 days in advance. Free passage is restricted to smaller ships.

In the wake of increasing shipping traffic and some accidents, at the end of the 20th century Turkey unilaterally established rules for passage through the Turkish straits. Crucial to the Sea of ​​Marmara were the 1994 Marine Traffic Regulations, which provided specific rules for large ships and those carrying dangerous cargo such as oil and oil products. Turkey also granted itself the right to temporarily completely stop shipping traffic in certain areas due to climatic conditions or underwater work. However, the state had to lift this, mainly due to protests by Russia and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), but after a few years of negotiations and a more passive stance by the IMO, it was able to expand it again.


Shipping traffic in the sea

The Sea of ​​Marmara is a heavily traveled sea; about 50,000 ship movements take place annually on the Sea of ​​Marmara. In 2005 about 35,000 of these were cargo ships of all kinds, just under 10,000 oil tankers and about 5,000 bulk carriers, with the number of oil tankers in particular increasing sharply in recent years. Around ten to 15 super tankers sail through the Turkish straits every day . For Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Georgia, the only connection with the ocean runs through the Sea of ​​Marmara; the route is of particular importance for Russia's foreign trade . The Russian merchant navy has the largest fleet on the Sea of ​​Marmara, around half of Russian sea trade goes through this sea.

The Sea of ​​Marmara lies on the route between the oil terminals on the Black Sea and the European ports on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, on which all oil from the Central Asian part of Russia and Azerbaijan is transported to the west. Tankers transported a total of 119 million tons of crude oil through the system of the Turkish straits in 2002; by 2010 the amount is to be increased to 155 million tons.

For Turkey itself, the Sea of ​​Marmara is also of paramount importance as a long-distance trade route. Over 90% of Turkish foreign trade goods are transported across the sea. Of the 100 largest ports in the country, 34 are located on the Sea of ​​Marmara, which landed almost half of all goods in 1996. Another 30 are on the Black Sea, which makes the passage of the Sea of ​​Marmara necessary on most trade routes. The largest port on the Marmara Sea is İzmit on the outskirts of Istanbul.

A large number of publicly and privately operated RoRo ferries sail across the Sea of ​​Marmara , connecting the heavily industrialized north and especially Istanbul with the Asian side of Turkey. Important ferry ports besides Istanbul are Eskihisar , Topçular , Bandırma and Ambarlı . A total of around 2000 ferries travel across the Marmara Sea every day, a large number of which call at at least one station in Istanbul.


Hamsi (anchovies) on sale

Fishing in the Sea of ​​Marmara has a long tradition and dates back several thousand years. Although clearly surpassed by the Black Sea in terms of its importance for Turkey, the Sea of ​​Marmara is roughly on a level with the Aegean Sea and well ahead of fishing in the open eastern Mediterranean. The share of the total Turkish catch varies between ten and 15% per year, but in rare cases it can also amount to five percent or 20% of the total Turkish catch. The most important fish in the Sea of ​​Marmara are by far anchovies , which make up over half of the catch. The bonito ( Sarda Sarda ) is caught at the entrance to the Bosphorus during its annual migration from the Sea of ​​Marmara to the Black Sea. Other commercially caught fish which are hunted by the 3000 registered fishing boats, are European sprat , Carangidae , bluefish , sardine , whiting , bluefin tuna , red mullet , Black Sea turbot and shrimps, snails and squid.

Overall, there seems to be almost no bycatch, as almost all the fish caught are also landed and used. Presumably the official figures are clearly too low, they allow at least as much conclusions to be drawn about the willingness to report as about the actual fishing. In particular, landings in the many smaller ports, fishing outside the main season and from the many small fishing boats are rarely reflected in the statistics. 85% of all Turkish fishing vessels are boats less than ten meters in length, which are also often operated by subsistence or part-time fishermen and hardly report any data. On a statistical average, however, the largest and best-motorized fishing boats in the Turkish fishing fleet operate on the Sea of ​​Marmara.

Anchovy fishermen have been using sonar at sea since the 1980s, and this has been the widespread standard in anchovy fishing since the 1990s. Istanbul fishermen began to use sonar devices in 1997 that can also detect other fish, which had a particularly serious impact on the bonito fishery. Likewise, the high cost of a sonar device, which can cost over $ 200,000, helped socially differentiate fishermen on the Sea of ​​Marmara. Large, financially strong entrepreneurs were the clear winners of the technological change, while the traditional and less capitalized fishermen are pushed into economic marginal positions.

The hunting of bluefin tuna has increased significantly in recent decades. Originally, the catch was made with large weirs, especially in the months from April to August. When the yields decreased with this method, purse seine fishing began in the Sea of ​​Marmara in the winter months in the 1950s . In the 1980s, the Turkish government began to promote purse seine fishery through loans and tax breaks, while tuna prices rose sharply in booming Japan. In the years that followed, this fishing method also spread to the adjacent waters of the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean. The trend towards larger boats and nets and greater tuna hunting accelerated in the early 1990s as anchovy yields declined. The fishing season now extends from winter to June. While the Turkish tuna catch is expanding overall, it has declined dramatically due to the sharp decline in stocks in the Sea of ​​Marmara. The tuna population is now acutely endangered throughout the Mediterranean.


Bathers on Avşa Island on the southwest coast

While the Sea of ​​Marmara is itself a popular tourist destination in the neighboring cities, tourism has suffered setbacks in recent decades. Among other things, this resulted from the construction of multi-lane expressways directly along the coast near Istanbul, as well as the sometimes heavy pollution of the sea. For health reasons, bathing is now advised against in some places; in addition, there is sometimes a strong, unpleasant smell from the sea.

natural gas

The largest Turkish natural gas field, which supplies much of the country's 900 million cubic meters of annual natural gas production, is the Marmara-Kuzey field, which is located near the Dardanelles in the Marmara Sea. When production began in 1997, it was the first Turkish offshore field.

Military importance

Drawing from the London Illustrated News : The British submarine HMS E11 sunk a Turkish transporter off the coast of Istanbul during World War I.

Together with the other parts of the Turkish Straits, the Sea of ​​Marmara is of great importance as the only access to the Black Sea and thus especially to Russia's southern coast, as well as a mandatory passage for the Russian Black Sea Fleet .

For Turkey itself, the Sea of ​​Marmara plays a role primarily as part of the Turkish straits; for the Turkish Navy , the sea is part of the Istanbul-based Strait Command . The country also uses the comparatively secluded and protected location of the sea compared to other countries, the training command is based in Karamüsel on the south coast of the sea, the Naval Academy is located in Istanbul on the north coast. The headquarters of the Turkish Navy was located near Gölcük on the Gulf of İzmit until 1999 , but after the earthquake in Gölcük and a tsunami in the Gulf of İzmit, it moved to the safer Aegean coast in Izmir .


Due to the flow conditions, most of the wastewater that flows into the Black Sea also gets into the Marmara Sea, as does all of the wastewater from the metropolis of Istanbul. Almost half of Turkish industry has settled around the Sea of ​​Marmara. As early as the 1990s, 766 million m 3 of household and industrial wastewater ended up in the sea. This has led to significant eutrophication of the sea since the 1980s . 40 percent of them live in Istanbul alone.

While in the 1990s all sewage that was discharged from Istanbul directly into the Sea of ​​Marmara was treated, this was not the case with discharges into the Bosphorus, which also ended up in the Sea of ​​Marmara a little later. The strong population growth of Istanbul from 2.7 million inhabitants in 1980 to 6.6 million inhabitants in 1990 began in the 1980s to render the purification mechanisms that had been available up to then ineffective. Only since 1995 has the city made major investments in wastewater treatment again. From 1995 to 2005, the number of untreated wastewater discharged into Istanbul's coasts fell from 84 percent to 5 percent. While in 1995 211,000 m³ were cleared per day, in 2005 it was 1,910,000 m³. While a three-stage clarification including nitrogen and phosphorus clarification is planned for the Sea of ​​Marmara , the Istanbul water administration considers a single-stage clarification for wastewater that is fed into the Bosphorus deep under the sea to be sufficient.

Although Turkey has made efforts to tackle the wastewater problem in recent years, a 2008 report by the OECD concluded that the water quality in the sea continued to decline. More than half of industrial wastewater would still be discharged untreated into the sea or rivers flowing into it. This often contains mercury , lead , chromium and zinc . The Gulf of İzmit and the Gulf of Gemlik, in which the polluted water from the Bosporus and local tributaries collects, are particularly at risk. The part of the Marmara Sea that is most heavily polluted by sewage is the coast near Bursa . There, both the wastewater from the city of Bursa and the industrial wastewater from the Bursa industrial zone flow untreated over the Nilüfer into the sea.

The comparatively low oxygen and salt content of surface water also favors bacteria, while they slow down the effectiveness of natural wastewater degradation.

The dense shipping traffic poses an additional threat to the Sea of ​​Marmara. The ships discharge considerable amounts of wastewater, which pollutes the sea directly and in untreated form. Impurities from accidents in the sea or in the Bosporus can linger in the sea for months and lead to permanent deposits in the sediment. A pilot requirement in the Bosporus and the heavily traveled sections of the Marmara Sea cannot be enforced due to the difficult international status. Although the pilot fees are rather low by international standards, many ships operate without a pilot. Between 1948 and 2005 there were over 700 shipping accidents in the Turkish Straits.

Significant tanker accidents in recent decades occurred in 1979 and 1999. On November 11, 1979, the Greek cargo ship Evriali collided with the Romanian tanker Independența, which was anchored south of the Istanbul port. According to the Turkish press, the Greek captain was drunk. Debris flew over 15 km inland in the explosion. In the accident in which 43 people died, a total of 95,000 tons of heavy oil ran into the sea, the tanker burned for three weeks, only to destroy parts of the coast and the sea in a large explosion on December 6th. Burning oil spilled into the sea and onto the coast. The clean-up work took several years, and tourism and fishing fell by 40 and 25 percent respectively in the following years. On December 29, 1999, the heavy oil tanker Volgoneft-248 with 4,365 tons of oil on board broke apart in the sea south of Istanbul during a storm . Shortly after the breakup, 1,300 tons of heavy fuel oil ended up in the sea and polluted five kilometers of coastline, but the rest of the oil ran out of the ship through minor leaks by summer 2000. In addition, a collision of the Cypriot tanker Nassia at the northern end of the Bosporus in 1994 spilled a total of 13,500 tons of heavy fuel oil into the sea.


Hellespont and Propontis in antiquity

Since around 3000 BC The weather and current conditions on the Sea of ​​Marmara are similar to today's conditions. Archaeological finds suggest that there was contact between the shores of the sea as early as the Bronze Age .

Since Byzantion (now Istanbul ) was founded on the coast of the sea, it has been used to supply the city locally and regionally. Lumber, agricultural products and wine were shipped directly to Istanbul from the other coasts. Fishing in the Sea of ​​Marmara in the Bosphorus was an important source of income for the city, along with tariffs. Bonitos and tuna can be found as symbols of the city as well as on coins from the 1st to 3rd centuries AD.

In the 17th century, Istanbul, a city of 700,000 people, got grain, fruit and vegetables from the towns and villages on the Marmara Sea, while more specialized goods such as olives and raisins from the south of the Turkish Aegean Sea, and lamb even from the Balkans, crossed the sea to the City came. The paramount role of Istanbul is also evident from the fact that the city of Tekirdağ on the north coast permanently played the role of a second port for the larger city. In the early modern period, the warehouses there had the purpose of landing rice and other grains from the southern Mediterranean and storing them until they were needed in Istanbul.

In the late phase of the Ottoman Empire , the sea was divided into individual villages. In contrast to other coastal areas in Turkey, fishing with fish weirs was frequent. A strict principle of territoriality prevailed, in which - analogous to land areas - the authorities in Istanbul exclusively assigned different sea areas to individual villages, so that only fishermen from these villages were allowed to fish there. Even if these bans primarily served to protect fishermen from competition, there were also approaches to conserving resources: For example, the use of particularly small-mesh anchovy nets was limited in time, just as it was probably an unwritten law that other fish below a certain size were thrown back into the sea were.

In addition to its great importance as a transit route for long-distance trade, Marmara marble from the island of the same name, which was shipped via the into the eastern Mediterranean, also played an important role as an export good.

Web links

Commons : Sea of ​​Marmara  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Sea of ​​Marmara  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Bayram Ozturk: The Marmara Sea, A Link Between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea in: Erkki Leppäkoski u. a .: Invasive aquatic species of Europe: distribution, impacts, and management , Springer, 2002, ISBN 1-4020-0837-6 , pp. 337-340.
  2. a b Yıldız Altınok and others: Historical tsunamis in the Sea of ​​Marmara in: ITS 2001 Proceedings, Session 4, Number 4-2 PDF file ( Memento of the original from July 20, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link became automatic used and not yet tested. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ^ A b Peter C. Wille: Sound images of the ocean in research and monitoring Springer, 2005, ISBN 3-540-24122-1 , pp. 242–245.
  4. a b Aykut Barka: Neotectonics of the Marmara Region , in: Conrad Schindler und others: Active tectonics of northwestern Anatolia: the Marmara Poly-Project: a multidisciplinary approach by space-geodesy, geology, hydrogeology, geothermics and seismology , vdf Hochschulverlag AG , 1997, ISBN 3-7281-2425-7 , pp. 59-62.
  5. ^ A b c d e Tulay Çocakar: The Eastern Mediterranean-Black Sea System with High Oil Spill Risk. In: WF Davidson, K. Lee, A. Cogswell: Oil Spill Response: A Global Perspective , Springer, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4020-8564-2 , pp. 327-340.
  6. ^ A b Peter Jablonka: The Link Between the Black Sea and Mediterranean Since the End of the Last Ice Age: Archeology and Geology , in: Günther A. Wagner: Troia and the troad: scientific approaches , Springer, 2003, ISBN 3-540 -43711-8 , p. 86.
  7. Emin Özsoy: Current Understandings of Environmental and Water Resource Impacts in the Eastern Mediterranean in: EJ Moniz (Ed.): Climate Change and Energy Pathways for the Mediterranean Springer, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4020-4858-6 , pp. 27.
  8. Earlier investigations were based on 10,600, 9,500 and 7,000 years (Thomas Reichel: Reconstruction of the paleoceanographic development of the Sea of ​​Marmara using multiple analysis methods , dissertation, FU Berlin 2004, p. 15 f. And p. 99).
  9. ^ Griffes: North Atlantic, Baltic Sea, North Sea and Mediterranean Sea , ProStar Publications, ISBN 1-57785-877-8 , pp. 336-340.
  10. a b c Irad Malkin, Robert L. Hohlfelder: Mediterranean cities: historical perspectives , Routledge, 1988, ISBN 0-7146-3353-4 , pp. 26–33.
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