Turkish airspace is closed for flights to and from Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah airport for three months due to the activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the region, Türkiye’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“Turkish airspace has been closed to aircraft, which land/take-off at Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah International Airport, as of 3 April,” said spokesperson Tanju Bilgic in a statement.
The decision was taken upon the “intensification” of PKK’s activities in Sulaymaniyah in the east of the Kurdistan region of Iraq and “infiltration by the terrorist organization into the airport and thus threatening flight safety,” Bilgic said.
The ban will initially be valid until July 3, and will be re-evaluated in light of the developments that will be closely monitored in the run-up to that date, the spokesperson said.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades. The group uses Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq as its headquarters. ■