Qa-34, 14 May 2020, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding The Denial Of An Overflight Clearance To An Aircraft Transporting Humanitarian Aid To The Greek Cypriot Administration (gca)

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 14.05.2020

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.

Overflight clearances are granted however, should an application be submitted, for ambulance aircraft with patients on board, evacuation flights and aircraft carrying medical supplies, as an exception with humanitarian considerations.

Aircraft requesting permission for technical or emergency landing are also included among exceptions, irrelevant of their registration.

There have been reports appearing in some news outlets yesterday (13 May) that an aircraft transporting medical supplies from the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the GCA was denied overflight clearance.

The aircraft in question, which departed from the PRC 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.

Under these circumstances, the aircraft was denied permission to enter the Turkish airspace as per the standard restrictions regarding flights involving the GCA. In any event, a reasonable period of time to allow for any coordination of an 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.

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.

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