Turkey refused Greek Cyprus-bound aircraft to fly across its airspace: FM spokesperson
“In line with our established policy regarding the Greek Cypriot Administration [GCA]), permissions for overflights through the Turkish airspace are not granted to GCA-registered aircraft or aircraft transporting cargo to and from the GCA,” said Aksoy.
However, he pointed at the fact there are exceptions for humanitarian reasons, but the aircraft failed to give a timely notice.
Overflight clearances are granted, however, should an application be submitted for ambulance aircraft with patients on board, evacuation flights and aircraft carrying medical supplies, it will be an exception with humanitarian considerations, he said.
Aircraft requesting permission for technical or emergency landing are also included among exceptions, irrelevant of their registration, Aksoy noted.
He referred to media reports on May 13 that an aircraft transporting medical supplies from China to the Greek Cyprus was denied overflight clearance.
The aircraft in question, which departed from China did not submit a timely overflight clearance request prior to its take-off and requested an overflight clearance with a declaration to land in Larnaca, only while approaching the Turkish airspace, said the spokesperson.
Under these circumstances, the aircraft was denied permission to enter the Turkish airspace as per the standard restrictions regarding flights involving Greek Cyprus he said, adding that in any event, a reasonable period of time to allow for any coordination of exceptional permission was not accorded.
“Had an application for the overflight permission of the flight in question been submitted in a timely manner, it could have been possible to grant an exception with humanitarian considerations. As a matter of fact, clearance for such flights have been granted before, insomuch as allowing the landing of GCA-registered aircraft to airports in Turkey,” Aksoy said.
“The failure to submit a timely application for overflight and the subsequent abuse of the humanitarian attitude of Turkey by the GCA, despite being fully aware of regular practice, is a manifestation of its efforts to exploit certain issues for political agenda, contrary to the interests of its own people,” he stated.