Turkey Ban Affects Armenia Flights to Syria

A Syrian airliner forced to land in Ankara (Reuters)

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Syria’s national airline said on Tuesday that it will continue carrying out weekly flights to Armenia despite Turkey’s decision to close its airspace to Syrian aircraft.

An official at the Yerevan office of Syrian Air told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the company’s planes will now fly from Aleppo to Yerevan via Iraq and Iran. The diverted flights will last longer and cost slightly more, the official said.
The next Yerevan-Aleppo flight was scheduled for Tuesday evening.

Turkey banned Syrian planes from flying over its territory at the weekend following a further upsurge in cross-border tensions between the two neighboring states. The confrontation escalated since five Turkish civilians were killed when a Syrian shell hit a Turkish border town two weeks ago.

Last week Turkish authorities forced down and searched a Syrian plane travelling from Russia and claimed to have found Russian munitions on board destined for Syria’s armed forces. Moscow condemned the move, saying that were no weapons on the plane.

An Armenian cargo plane carrying humanitarian aid was similarly searched in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum on its way to Aleppo on Monday. Turkish officials said afterwards that it had no cargo that could be used by the Syrian military.

Unlike Syrian Air, Armenia’s national airline, Armavia, stopped its regular flights to Aleppo on September 17 due to the worsening bloodshed in Syria’s largest city home to a sizable Armenian community.

Thousands of Syrian nationals, virtually all of them of Armenian descent, have fled to Armenia on board Syrian Air and Armavia airliners in the past year. Hranush Hakobian, the Armenian minister for Diaspora affairs, said on Monday that there are currently about 5,000 Syrian Armenians in the country.

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11 Comments

  1. Kevork said:

    Armenia should make it clear to Turkey: if Armenian planes cannot go over “Turkey” (actually western Armenia) to Syria to help the Armenian community, then Turkey cannot go over Armenia either going to Azerbaijan or anywhere else east. And I wish it will get to a point where Iraq and Iran don’t allow Turkish planes over their skies either.

    • Chris O said:

      The probability of so-called “West Armenia” existing is as ridiculous as how Mexican Nationalists claim the Southwest of the United States as “Aztlan.” Get over it and focus on being happy with what you guys have and get rid of the corrupt oligarchs in Yerevan.

      • Mabuballah said:

        Dear “Chris”:
        Mexicans are taking over the Southwest (and much of the rest of the good ‘ole USA, as well), in case you haven’t noticed!

      • Avery said:

        Actually not only West Armenia is quite realistic, but it is just around the corner.

        The Fascist Genocidal Turkish State has lost, for all practical purposes, control of the so-called “Eastern Turkey” to Kurds. We will sit and watch while Kurds kick TSK out of Armenian lands, then make a deal with Kurds. You Turks have overstayed your welcome. Europeans hate you. Germans want the likes of yo out. French want the likes of you out. Everybody hates you. Time for the likes of you to pack up your ox wagon and head East. Go East, young man, Go East.

        Your homeland is in Uyguristan: Turk Chris Oglu.
        Return to your nomadic homeland: you will be happier there.

      • Morgan said:

        Your beliefs Chrissy are not based in reality. The Armenian people have strong legal claims to so called eastern Turkey unlike Mexican nationalist claims. These are issues that are beyond your capacity. Focus on your local community issues like meals on wheels for the elderly. The Turkish Republic is a construct based on genocide and ethnic cleansing, both crimes have no statute of limitations. The Armenian people will continue until final victory against the heathen toork. This is not your worry whether it will happen or not. Cheers.

  2. ARA said:

    we do need to be careful. Rescuing our people is prime we need to keep Turkey away from all our affairs and aircraft but they are the closest thing for NATO- we must remain secure

  3. Ray said:

    Turkey takes pride in bringing pain to the Human race!
    The Chinese build “the great wall of China” to keep there ancestors out now I undersdtand why!

  4. John-Emmanuel Shirajian said:

    Kevork’s suggestion is exactly what Armenia should do. As for Iran and Iraq I do not think they want a confrontation with Turkey now. So far the Turkish-Iranian conflict is restricted to the media pages and web sites.

    • ilia said:

      well…i am an Iranian…as an Iranian…Turks of ottoman have no land actually…as Nostradamus Called “Land OF No Man”…soon we will confront with turkey…iraq has forced all turkish business men out.and now iraq military will purchase advanced and sophisticated air-defence from russia…soon you will see turkey’ jet will be in danger …turkey cannot cross air space of iraq anymore…and soon you will see turkey will lose its economic and diplomatic ties with iraq…and iran is the last

  5. methos said:

    We’re all getting enough of these PanTurks, Erdogool Aliev bademjaani and their clique who would sell their families for a penny…. Their history is filled with massacres, killings and genocides (latest in Syria), it is high time they get what they deserve …

  6. Mike Mirakian said:

    Since when does a sovereign country, as Armenia is, have to have it’s plane cargoes checked by another sovereign country such as Turkey? Do we check Turkish planes flying over Armenia into Azerbaijan?

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