Turkey closes its airspace to Israeli military flights

Turkey closes its airspace to Israeli military flights

Erdoğan conveyed forensic documents from the autopsies of nine people killed by Israeli commandos to Medvedev in a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.

June 29, 2010, Tuesday/ 16:47:00
Turkey has closed its airspace to some Israeli military flights after Israeli commandos killed eight Turks on an aid ship in international waters during a deadly May 31 raid.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking to reporters in Toronto on Sunday, stated that Turkey had imposed a ban on Israeli flights after the May 31 raid. Erdoğan didn't elaborate, but Turkish authorities based in Ankara clarified that commercial flights were not affected, as the current ban is for Israeli military flights.

“According to the internationally agreed military aviation procedures which are already in place, permission for another country's military to use Turkish airspace is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Currently, in the aftermath of the Mavi Marmara incident, the tendency is to not give permission to Israeli military flights as was done in the past,” government authorities, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Today's Zaman, indicating that the ban was a “de facto” one.

The officials did not term the ban a blanket ban. In Israel, Transport Ministry officials said on Monday that the country’s Civil Aviation Authority has not received any official notification from Turkey that its airspace is closed to Israeli flights.

The Israeli officials said Israeli passenger planes are continuing to fly through Turkey as usual, Ynetnews, an English-language Israeli news portal, reported.

On Sunday, Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported that Turkey had not allowed a plane carrying Israeli military officers en route to a tour of memorial sites in Auschwitz, Poland, to fly over Turkish airspace. The transport plane, with more than 100 officers on board, was forced to make a detour, the paper said.

The Israeli military “refrained from responding officially to the event so not to exacerbate the rift in relations,” the newspaper added.

According to the international military aviation rules in place, Turkey is not in a position to take into consideration whether the Israeli military aircraft’s final destination was linked to a commemoration ceremony. Turkish authorities stated that the recent implementation had nothing to do with the aircraft’s destination.

Erdoğan conveyed forensic documents from the autopsies of nine people killed by Israeli commandos to Medvedev in a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.

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