The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied allegations of deliberately holding the plane of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in the air for some time, on its way to enter Turkish airspace.
Spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy announced in a statement on Thursday that these allegations are false.
Aksoy added that Greece had asked Turkey to give authorisation for the minister’s plane to fly to and from Iraq via Turkish airspace.
He stated that the Turkish authorities had approved Greece’s request immediately and without delay.
The Turkish official continued: “When the plane carrying Minister Dendias broke down in Iraq, Greece sent another plane and asked Turkey for authorisation to use its airspace, and we granted the second plane permission without delay.”
He pointed out that the rumours about Turkey’s decision to hold Dendias’s plane in the air were generated by the Greek side and do not reflect the truth.
Aksoy suggested that the plane in question had taken off from Iraq without submitting a flight plan, explaining that flight plans are reported via the Eurocontrol system.
He stressed that the Turkish authorities had confirmed that the flight plan of the aircraft carrying the Greek foreign minister had not been communicated.
“When the aircraft arrived in our airspace, the flight plan was urgently requested from the Iraqi authorities, and after receiving a response from them, the plane completed its flight safely,” Aksoy added.
Aksoy asserted that it is not possible for any aircraft to fly without communicating its flight plan, which is a necessary safety measure.
He explained that his country had provided the Greek authorities with sufficient information on this matter.