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Turkey bans Syrians, Yemenis and Iraqis from flying to Belarus to help curb migration crisis

German Centeno
7 min read
Turkey bans Syrians, Yemenis and Iraqis from flying to Belarus to help curb migration crisis
Turkey bans Syrians, Yemenis and Iraqis from flying to Belarus

This Friday it was known that the Turkish authorities have announced to the citizens of Yemen, Iraq and Syria that they cannot travel by plane to Belarus, this as a support measure to try to stop the migration crisis on the border with Poland.

This has come after the different efforts of the European Union and the European Commission to try to put an end to this trend between the countries of origin and transit of migrants.

All this due to the problems of illegal entry into the EU bloc from Belarusian soil, which the European Union blames on the Belarusian regime.

In this way, the Turkish authorities have indicated that Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni citizens who want to travel to Belarus from Turkish airports will not be able to buy air tickets until further notice. As indicated in a statement by the Turkish Civil Aviation Authority.

The measure published by Turkey has been applauded

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, thanked Ankara for the decision it has taken and also, and applauded the cooperation and support of the Civil Aviation Authority in a message broadcast through the social network Twitter.

The European executive has been known to establish contacts with manyof aviation companies, thus causing Iraqi and Turkish Airlines to limit their travel to Belarus for the next few weeks.

In the same way, they want to achieve that the Istanbul airport is banned from the use of the Belarusian Belavia airlines. Some European sources have confirmed that Brussels has contacted Etihad, MEA, Oman Air, Iraqi Airways and Egypt Air !, Royal Air Maroc, Air Arabiya, Emirates, Fly Dubai, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways.

As well as with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). These contacts are part of the joint efforts of the European Commission and the Member States to be able to provide a response to all the tension between the border of Poland and Belarus.

For this, communications have been established with more than 33 countries of origin and transit of migrants.

The European Union charges against Belarus

Turkey bans Syrians, Yemenis and Iraqis from flying to Belarus to help curb migration crisis
Turkey closes flights to Belarus due to migration crisis to Syrians, Iraqis and Yemenis

The European Union has blamed the government of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for using migrants for political purposes, in full swing with the European bloc for the sanctions it has received against his government.

This has generated a strong migration crisis on the Polish border, where thousands of migrants are currently being pushed by the Belarusian authorities and which has been generating a war tension between the two countries.

Dana Spinat, community spokesperson, has expressed the following: "all the airlines contacted have condemned any type of human trafficking and all of them have shown their commitment to combat this phenomenon". So far, Iraqi Airways has announced that it will not resume flights to Belarus.

On the other hand, Turkish Airlines will suspend the sale of tickets to the country for citizens of Yemen, Syrian and Iraqi nationalities. In addition, after the Istanbul airport became, in the words of the High Representative, Josep Borrell, a place of transit for migrants. The European executive has managed to get the Turkish authorities to ban Belavia from using the Turkish Airlines network.

This will try to prevent migrants from reaching Minks via Istanbul. Therefore, Spinant recalled that the Commission is studying the possibility of applying new sanctions against those airlines that do not cooperate with Brussels in this situation and become accomplices of human trafficking.

International response

According to statements from Lebanon, where this issue has been investigated with the national authorities, the Commission's Vice President Margaritis Schinas for Migration, has applauded the decision of the Turkish authorities to terminate their air operations towards Belarus as a show of support to the migration crisis.

"I am certain that Lebanon is also ready to work on this. We must build, and we are doing so with an international coalition against the use of people as a political weapon", the Greek commissioner assured.

Schinas also stressed that Brussels will not allow the routes to Belarus to continue at this time, for which he has attributed to the action of international networks of traffickers and has also advanced that the European Union will try to reinforce the package of sanctions against the Belarusian regime during next week.

In this way, they will remain in contact with the United States to try to coordinate measures that are effective to stop this migratory crisis.

In support of all these reinforcements, some members of the Community Executive will be traveling to Iraq, Egypt and Turkey, as well as to the Emirates and Lebanon. Schinas has been traveling this week to different places to try to pressure these countries on how important it is to close the air routes to Minsk.

For this, the community vice president added the following: "We are in a very complicated moment, in which we have our friends, and we are very happy that we have many".

Belavia joins Turkey

The national airline of Belarus, Belavia, has assured that it will not be allowing the boarding in Turkey of people with Syrian, Yemen or Iraqi citizenship in order to continue with the directives of the Turkish authorities after the rebound in migratory flow at the border.

In accordance with this, the Belavia company has offered the refund of the ticket to the passengers affected by this measure: "By decision of the Turkish authorities, since last November 12 the nationals of Yemen, Iraq and Syria will not be able to board the flights from Turkey to Belarus ".

Currently, there are thousands of people who are on the border of Belarus with several countries of the European Union, mainly Poland, this as a result of a new wave of migrants in which the community bloc blames President Lukashencko directly.

After all this, Lukashenko has threatened all kinds of retaliation against external sanctions. He has also reached out to his Russian counterpart Putin to request support and cooperation. Everything indicated that Russia welcomes the position of Belarus in all this.

Right now Belavia is in the eye of the hurricane for the alleged organization of flights from countries of origin of refugees and migrants, where most of them come from countries in the Middle East and Iraq. For now, both the airline and the Belarusian government have flatly denied migrant smuggling.

Iraqi citizens could return to their country

It has been known that at the Iraqi Embassy in Russia, Baghdad's official voice to Mink, a plane has been offered with Iraqi citizens who are on the border of Belarus and who want to return to their country of origin. Thus, they have urged all those citizens to return to Iraq easily, safely and quickly.

Ahmed al Sahaf, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, has confirmed to Rudaw the start of the registration process and has also promised all citizens who have lost their passports that he will grant them a provisional one so that they can return.

Likewise, it has explained that it is a free and voluntary return, so they will not force anyone to do so.

Al Sahaf has indicated that around 600 Iraqi citizens have applied for a residence permit in Poland, for which he has stressed that the Iraqi government will continue with its diplomatic work so that all the rights of migrants can be guaranteed.