Turkey Orders Airlines to Stop Selling Tickets to Belarus to Migrants from Iraqi, Syria & Yemen

Citizens from Iraq, Syria and Yemen wishing to travel to Belarus from airports in Turkey will not be permitted to do so, as Turkey’s Civil Aviation Authority is halting airline ticket sales to these territories after this route has been highly frequented by migrants and refugees in their bid to enter the European Union countries.

“Due to the problem of illegal border crossings between the European Union and Belarus, it has been decided that the citizens of Iraq, Syria and Yemen who want to travel to Belarus from Turkish airports will not be allowed to buy tickets and boarding until further notice,” the statement published by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation reads, reports.

Recently, many European Union leaders have urged airlines not to bring more people from the Middle East to Belarus’ capital in order to prevent another migration crisis in the EU.

Such a situation has led Turkey’s Civil Aviation Authority to freeze ticket sales until further notice.

In recent months, a large number of migrants and refugees managed to reach the EU countries by crossing in an unlawful way Poland, Lithuania and Latvia borders, even though many of them have been banned from entering or pushed back.

At present, a large number of people are stranded at the Polish-Belarus border, facing challenging conditions.

Humanitarian organizations have pointed the finger at Poland’s authorities for violating the international right to asylum by pushing back people into Belarus instead of accepting their applications for protection. On the other hand, authorities in Poland claim that their actions are legal.

During the plenary debate held on Wednesday, November 10, Members of the EU Parliament have stressed that the EU must stand united regarding the Belarusian regime, considering such a regime as an inhuman instrumentalization of migrants.

The EU leaders previously accused the Belarusian President, Aleksander Lukashenko, of causing disability within the bloc. The EU leaders’ comments came after the influx of migrants that Poland is seeing.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, recently called on the EU leaders to approve extended sanctions for Belarus and third-country airlines.

EU and Belarus tensions have risen after Lukashenko forced a passenger plane to divert and land to arrest the journalist, Roman Protasevich.

Due to the landing of Ryanair flight, Belarus also faced sanctions, which recently have been urged by European Union authorities to be expanded. However, on Thursday, Lukashenko warned that new sanctions would be met with a response, including cutting off natural gas transit to Europe, as reported by France 24.

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