Qa-99, 15 October 2020, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding The Media Reports Alleging That The Minister Of Foreign Affairs Of Greece, Mr. Nikos Dendias' Aircraft Was Intentionally Kept On Hold At The Entry Of Our Airspace

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 15.10.2020

An overflight permission was requested in order to carry the Greek Foreign Minister Mr. Nikos Dendias to and from Iraq on 14 October 2020, and the Greek side was promptly informed that the said permission was granted.

Upon the technical failure of the said aircraft in Iraq, the Greek side allocated a second aircraft for Mr. Dendias’s flight. Due to time constraint, Greek authorities were informed without delay that the aircraft in question was allowed to use our airspace with the same flight permit.

The news alleging that the aircraft of Minister Dendias was kept on hold before entering Turkish airspace are intentionally misleading and are not accurate. The aircraft in question took off from Iraq without submitting the necessary flight plan. Flight plans are transmitted through the Eurocontrol system. It was also confirmed from this system that the flight plan was not transmitted. When the aircraft carrying Minister Dendias arrived at our airspace, the plan was urgently requested from the Iraqi authorities, and after the plan was received, the flight was carried out safely.

Naturally, it is not possible for an aircraft to fly without providing a flight plan. In this case, it is first and foremost a necessity for the safety of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece. Our Greek counterparts were also informed about the issue.

Tahsin Tunç Üğdül Ambassador
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