Armenian plane en route to Aleppo searched in Turkey – Turkish Armenian Business Development Council
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Armenian plane en route to Aleppo searched in Turkey

 Armenian plane en route to Aleppo searched in Turkey

Armenian plane en route to Aleppo searched in Turkey 15 October 2012 Turkey grounded an Armenian plane flying to the Syrian city of Aleppo and searched its cargo on Monday, in the latest move to prevent its airspace being used to supply the Syrian military. The plane was allowed to continue on its way after the search in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum confirmed it was carrying humanitarian aid as stated by Armenian officials, a Turkish deputy prime minister said. Last Wednesday Turkey forced down a Syrian airliner that had come from Moscow and said it had found Russian munitions on board destined for Syria’s armed forces. NATO-member Turkey has become increasingly assertive in challenging Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the face of growing tensions along the border and banned all Syrian aircraft from its airspace in the wake of that incident. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said the plane was given all clear and allowed to continue on its journey. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Turkey had the sovereign right under the Chicago convention on civil aviation to require planes crossing its airspace to make a “technical landing” but did not say whether this right would be exercised in future. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said later in the day that according to preliminary inspections, the plane was not carrying any cargo except humanitarian aid supplies. Davutoğlu, who is attending the 20th Meeting of the Council of Ministers (COM) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Azerbaijan, told journalists that on Oct. 10, Armenia requested the use of Turkish airspace to take humanitarian aid to Aleppo. He said Turkey had granted the Armenian plane permission only on the condition that it would make “a technical landing” in Erzurum, a request in keeping with international aviation law. Armenia confirmed it had known the plane would be searched. “The landing of the airplane in Turkey was planned and it was carried out according to a previously reached agreement. The airplane is delivering humanitarian aid to Syria,” Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan said. Last week’s decision to force down and search the Syrian plane travelling from Russia infuriated Moscow and Damascus. Russia has said there were no weapons on the plane and that it was carrying a legal cargo of radar equipment. But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later said the incident would not hurt the countries’ “solid” relations. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said over the weekend that Turkish airspace had been closed to Syrian planes. Syria has also banned Turkish planes from flying over its territory. The confrontation between Turkey and Syria has escalated in the last two weeks because of cross-border shelling, with Ankara retaliating after five Turkish civilians were killed when a Syrian shell hit a Turkish border town. The bloodshed inside Syria has worsened markedly in the past two months although neither government nor rebels have been able to gain a decisive advantage. The increased conflict has fuelled further refugee flows across Syria’s borders, with many fleeing to Turkey. The Turkish disaster management agency (AFAD) said on Monday there were now 100,363 Syrians at more than a dozen camps. Turkey has said it will struggle to accommodate more than 100,000 and has urged the United Nations to build refugee camps in a safe zone within Syria’s borders. http://todayszaman.com/news-295349-turkey-searches-armenian-plane-en-route-to-aleppo.html

 

15.10.2012

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