The flows through the Turkish Straits System (comprised of the Straits of Bosphorus and Dardanelles, and the Sea of Marmara) are subject to a great degree of transient variability, depending on the atmospheric factors and the water budget. As a result of the rapid along-strait variations in the strait geometry, the sharp stratification, and the temporary blocking of the flows in either direction, the maximal exchange regime of controlled flows in the Bosphorus exhibit complex non-linear response to forcing (by the net water budget, pressure and wind setup effects in adjacent basins), resulting in the observed time dependence from daily to interannual time scales. One consequence is the observed controls on sea level changes. Complex relationships exist between the exchange flows, sea level variations, net water budgets and atmospheric pressure variations in the adjacent basins, and are not so easily understood within the full range of time scales. We make a first attempt to discuss these relationships in some detail.