Turkish Airlines has confirmed that it will no longer accept citizens of Iraq, Syria and Yemen on board flights to Minsk, with the exception of holders of diplomatic passports, the head of the President’s International Policy Bureau Jakub Kumoch informed on Thursday evening.
“Turkish Airlines has confirmed that they will no longer accept Iraq, Syria and Yemen citizens on board flights to Minsk, with the exception of holders of diplomatic passports,” Kumoch wrote on Twitter. “On behalf of President Andrzej Duda, I would like to thank everyone who participated in talks on this matter,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, a diplomatic source in Brussels informed that “Turkish Airlines will announce the introduction of a ban on the sale of tickets to nationals of migrants’ countries of origin, including Iraq and Syria, on flights to Belarus on Thursday.”
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Turkish airlines are being attacked on purpose
On that day, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border that it rejected “attempts to present Turkey, which is not a party to this matter, as part of the problem.” It added that Turkey fully supports its allies – Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. However, it was noted that – according to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Turkish Airlines was intentionally attacked during the migration crisis on the eastern border of the European Union.
Turkey has previously been accused of allowing the influx of migrants to Belarus. Many of them were to reach Minsk with Turkish Airlines.
The EU wants to limit the influx of migrants
There is a growing awareness in Brussels and EU capitals that in order to stop the escalation of the crisis on the border, it is necessary to limit the influx of migrants to Belarus by air. On this matter, behind-the-scenes talks are being held with non-EU countries whose airlines fly to this country. The European Commission said on Thursday that the European Union will seek to “blacklist” airlines carrying migrants to Belarus who later try to cross the EU border.
Turkish diplomacy recalled that it had a good understanding of the challenges of irregular migration to which Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are now exposed, as Turkey has received the most refugees in the world over the last 10 years. “Turkey underlines at every opportunity the importance of taking the necessary steps to combat illegal migration and trafficking in human beings and calls on the international community to take responsibility and common sense in this matter,” the press release underlined.
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