Turkish transport minister announced lifting a 16-month-old ban on flights in and out of the Kurdish Regional Government-held Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq, a ban imposed following their non-binding independence referendum.
Turkey’s Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan said Ankara would lift a ban on flights to Sulaymaniyah, in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held region in northern Iraq.
“Turkish Airlines to resume seven flights to Sulaymaniyah every week,” said Turhan, adding the ban would be lifted on Friday.
The relations between Turkey and the KRG strained after the regional government held a non-binding and widely seen as an illegal independence vote to break up from Iraq, despite warnings from Baghdad.
The cost of kicking off the vote in September of 2017 has become devastating for KRG’s economy and politics, as Baghdad took actions against the move.
Turkey and Iran, the KRG's two neighbours, supported the Baghdad government against the KRG, suspending all flights going in and out. Iran went a step further and had closed its border with the region, a move which was not supported by Turkey, since it could cause harm to civilians.