Europe Turkey denies blocking airspace for Bosnian Serb politician

Turkey denies blocking airspace for Bosnian Serb politician


Milorad Dodik
Milorad Dodik

(AA) – Turkish Foreign Ministry has rejected news reports suggesting Turkey will not allow a Bosnian Serb politician to travel to Armenia through its airspace.

“The news reports claiming that the plane carrying to Armenia the president of Republika Srpska entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, is not permitted to use Turkish airspace does not reflect reality,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said Wednesday.

Bosnian authorities have not requested Turkey to use its airspace for the concerned plane for Dodik, Bilgic said.

He said that the Turkish authorities had recently given permission to use Turkish airspace to a private plane that wanted to travel from Bulgaria to Yerevan, the Armenian capital. “But despite the fact that the plane got the permission, it was understood that it didn’t use the Turkish airspace,” he added.

But, Bilgic added that there was no inhibition on this issue, and that Dodik could use the Turkish airspace to go to Yerevan upon his request.

“The permission to fly overhead will naturally be given,” he said.

Armenia has invited many world leaders on April 24 in Yerevan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1915 events in the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey has called for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and the opening of archives to study and uncover what happened between the Ottoman Empire and its Armenian citizens in 1915.

The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted.  

The relocation by the Ottomans of Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts resulted in numerous casualties. Turkey does not dispute that there were casualties on both sides, but rejects the definition of “genocide.”

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