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Sulaimani airport announces flights with Turkey will resume Saturday

Sulaimani airport announces flights with Turkey will resume Saturday

2019/01/24 | 11:48

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)-  Ankara has delayed the resumption of flights through Turkey to Sulaimani until Saturday due to technical issues.“The resumption of flights from Sulaimani airport using Turkey’s airspace has been delayed by two days, until Saturday, due to some technical issues which are unrelated to Sulaimani airport,” Dana Mohammed, the head of Sulaimani’s airport, told Rudaw. Flights using Turkey’s airspace to Sulaimani airport previously were due to resume on Thursday.Mohammed said there won’t be any more delays as “ticket sales are now open and the first plane will fly from Sulaimani to Istanbul and then from Istanbul to Sulaimani.”Turkish Airlines’ website lists a flight on Saturday departing Sulaymaniyah International Airport at 4 a.m. that is bound for Istanbul Ataturk Airport.Following the events of October 2017, international airspace to Erbil and Sulaimani‘s airports was ordered closed by the Iraqi federal government.Turkey and most other countries opened their airspace to planes bound for Erbil in March 2018.

However, Ankara had refused to open its airspace to flights bound for Sulaimani. It claims the dominate party in the province, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), was supporting the Kurdistan Workers‘ Party (PKK).

 

The move has prevented people — particularly those wanting to travel to Europe or Turkey — from utilizing Sulaimani‘s airport. They must either first travel to an airport elsewhere in Iraq or in Erbil.

 

Efforts to appease Turkey seemingly had been fruitless, including ordering the closure of offices close to Tavgari Azadi (Kurdistan Free Society Movement), a party close to the PKK.

In 2017, Ankara expelled the PUK’s representative to Turkey after the PKK captured two Turkish intelligence agents in Sulaimani province.  They have not been released.Turkey failing to lift its flight ban has led to travelling, trade, and revenue decreases. 







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