Turkey, Middle East

Turkey closes airspace for flights to northern Iraq

Decision taken on advice of Turkey’s National Security Council, says government spokesman

Sorwar Alam   | 16.10.2017
Turkey closes airspace for flights to northern Iraq


By Sorwar Alam, Sena Guler and Emin Avundukluoglu


Turkey on Monday closed its airspace for the flights from and to northern Iraq, the Turkish deputy prime minister and government spokesman said Monday.

Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara, Bekir Bozdag said the decision was taken by the Cabinet on advice of the country’s National Security Council.

“From now on, no airplane will be able to fly to the airports in Northern Iraqi Regional Government, and no airplane from there will be able to use the Turkish airspace,” he said.

Last month, the KRG held an illegitimate referendum across northern Iraq that resulted in a vote for independence from Baghdad. The vote was opposed by Baghdad as well as Turkey and the U.S.

Bozdag also said that the government began working on another advice of the council, seeking control of Iraqi government on Ibrahim Khalil border crossing, also known as Habur, between Turkey and the Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

The Cabinet also advised Turkish Parliament to extend state of emergency for another three months, according to Bozdag.  

Following the Cabinet’s meeting, the government submitted to the Turkish parliament a motion, seeking extension of emergency rule.

According to the motion, the new extension will come into force from Oct. 19 at 1.00 a.m.

Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time in July last year following a deadly coup attempt staged by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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