After Turkey’s government denied access to Turkish airspace for a military plane carrying IDF officers on their way to a visit to the Auschwitz death camps, an official in the Turkish government denied that it was because of the plane’s destination.
“As far as we’re concerned, we don’t care: It could have been a flight to Auschwitz and it could have been a flight to Disneyland—for us it’s the same thing.” So said a Turkish government official last night to the Financial Times Online.
The official confirmed that several days after the flotilla incident, a request submitted seeking permission for an IDF plane to enter Turkish airspace was denied.
He dismissed the claim that Turkey specially singled out the flight due to its destination, saying that the destination was irrelevant.
The matter of Turkey’s airspace with regard to Israeli planes in general and Israeli military planes in particular is still rather vague. Two days ago, Turkey’s official news agency quoted Prime Minister Regep Tayyip Erdogan as saying to journalists, “Our airspace is closed to Israeli planes.”
Israel’s transportation minister Yisrael Katz relayed that all flights are operating as normal, and later it became clear that Erdogan’s statement had to do with IDF planes. It is still unclear what Turkey’s official stance is with regard to a sweeping ban on IDF flights in its skies.