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Turkey halts flights for some Middle East citizens to European Union’s door

WARSAW: Turkey’s Civil Aviation Authority said on Friday (Nov 12) that the country is halting airline ticket sales to Iraqi, Syrian and Yemeni citizens wanting to travel to Belarus, which in recent months became a route for migrants and refugees to enter the European Union (EU).

EU leaders have put increasing pressure on airlines to stop bringing people from the Middle East to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, from where asylum-seekers seeking better lives can then travel by car to the EU’s doorstep.

Thousands have managed to cross illegally into EU member nations Poland, Lithuania and Latvia since the summer, though many thousands have also been kept from entering or pushed back.

In a brief statement posted on Twitter, Turkey’s aviation authority said its decision to halt ticket sales was valid until further notice.

Citing the Turkish decision, Belarusian airline Belavia said it also would not transport citizens of Iraq, Syria and Yemen on its Istanbul-Minsk flights starting Friday. Belavia said in a statement that it planned to reimburse the cost of already purchased tickets.

Polish authorities say a large number of people remain just across the border in neighboring Belarus and Polish border guards continue to rebuff attempts to enter Poland illegally.

Turkey halts flights for some Middle East citizens to European Union’s door Source link Turkey halts flights for some Middle East citizens to European Union’s door

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