If geography played a role in civilization building, then horn of Africa should have created the greatest civilization in recorded history. Yet we all know bulbhead somalians are worse than us, which is a monumental task to accomplish.
Why? It's not just a question of access, the sheer density of trade is much more of a factor.
It doesn't really matter that horners saw the occasional pajeet make the crossing, it matters that every piddleshit coastal village in the Med basin was full of ships hopping up and down the coast on trade runs.
No the scope of trade there was far larger than Mediterranean basin since the sea route of silk trade, egyptian/phoenican/arab trade, greek trade all happened nearby it. Any witty race (even us for that matter) would have exploited it and made fortunes. Also the sea coast is extremely ideal for navy building and seafaring. If you compare the lands of eternal anglo wit them, they possess astronomical advantage.