TRABZON – Doğan News Agency
Trabzonspor squad are seen training before Apollon Limassol match. AA photo
The plane carrying the Trabzonspor
squad has taken an unusual route to reach the Greek
Cypriot city of Limassol. Instead of traveling to Larnaca Airport via the Greek
island of Rhodes, the plane changed its route to go directly to Larnaca Airport after taking off from Trabzon.
Trabzonspor takes on Greek
Cyprus’ Apollon Limassol in its first game in the Europa League today, kicking off at 10:05 p.m.
The Greece-based Astra Airlines plane took off from Trabzon
Airport at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 18. After the take-off, the pilot announced that the route had been changed and that they would be flying directly to Larnaca.
If the route had not changed, the Black Sea
Storm would have had to take a long route to Limassol, from Trabzon
to the Greek
island of Rhodes, then on to Larnaca Airport, and then on to Limassol by bus.
The long route would have had to be taken due to diplomatic problems between the two countries. There are currently no direct flights from Turkey to Greek
Cyprus, while passage from the Turkish Cypriot half of the island to the Greek
half is also not permitted for Turkish citizens.No change in Turkey’s Greek Cyprus policy
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Levent Gümrükçü made clear on Sept. 19 that the direct flight to Larnaca from Trabzon
was not at all a sign of any change in Turkey’s policy regarding its position concerning Greek
Cyprus. The incident would not lead to a new de facto situation either, he added.
“It is not possible for a plane which takes off from Turkey to directly land in the Greek
side of Southern Cyprus, permission is not being given for such direct flights by Directorate General of Civil Aviation,” Gümrükçü said at a press conference, adding that the plane, which belongs to a private Greek
airlines company and took off from Trabzon, received permission from the related authorities by notifying that it would make a stopover on the island of Rhodes.
“From our side, there is no change in our rules that are in force,” he said. “As of today, it isn’t creating any new situation in regards to Turkey’s relations with the Greek
side of Southern Cyprus or its current stance in other fields including aviation,” he added, while underlining that it was understood that the incident took place upon the pilot’s initiative.