Armenian civilian plane grounded
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
An Aleppo-bound Armenian civilian plane was grounded for inspection in the eastern province of Erzurum as Turkey increases pressure against Syria. DHA PhotoAn Aleppo-bound Armenian civilian plane was grounded for inspection in the eastern province of Erzurum on Oct. 15, as Turkey increases pressure against Syria, preventing its airspace from being used to supply the Syrian military.
Armenia notified Turkish authorities of its willingness to send humanitarian aid to Syria on Oct. 10, and the permission for safe conduct was granted only on the condition of a technical landing, an official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry told Hürriyet Daily News.
The plane was permitted to depart yesterday afternoon after its cargo declaration was verified, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told reporters. “That is to say, we’re very serious on this issue. We are following closely, and we are very diligent on our duty,” he said. “We won’t avert humanitarian aid planes, but we’ll always perform the same practice for flights aboard which the cargo is not clear,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters in Baku.
The grounding of the plane does not represent the implementation of a general decision to ground Syria-bound planes, and decisions to make technical inspections are made on a case-by-case basis, officials told the Daily News.
Asked if Turkey is applying a practice of inspection generally to all Syria-bound planes flying through Turkish airspace, a Turkish diplomat said “It is early to interpret that way,” implying that decisions to ground foreign planes are made as needed. Turkish authorities and the Turkish media tried to “make a show out of [the grounding of the plane]” despite the previous agreement, Air Armenia Director Arsen Avetisyan told news.am. The cargo aboard the Armenian jet included 14 tons of food.