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Turkey has shut its airspace to Armenian flights: minister

Turkey has shut its airspace to Armenian flights: minister
2 min read
A monument in Armenia has angered Turkey and has prompted it to close its airspace to Armenian flights.
Turkey and Armenia resumed commercial flights in February last year [Getty/archive]

Turkey has closed its airspace to Armenian flights heading to a third destination in response to the unveiling of a controversial monument in Yerevan last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

The monument commemorates those involved in an assassination plot against Ottoman Turkish officials whom Armenia holds responsible for mass killings of ethnic Armenians during World War One. Yerevan says the killings constitute a genocide, a charge Ankara denies.

Speaking to broadcaster NTV, Cavusoglu said Turkey would take further steps if the monument is not removed.

Ankara has not had diplomatic or commercial ties with Armenia since the 1990s.

The two nations are at odds primarily over the 1.5 million people that Armenia says were killed in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor to modern Turkey. Armenia says this constitutes genocide, a charge Turkey denies.

But in February 2022, the two countries resumed their first commercial flights in two years as part of cautious efforts to normalise strained ties. In February this year, a border gate between the neighbours was opened for the first time in 35 years to allow aid for victims of the devastating earthquakes in southern Turkey.