Direct Erbil Diyarbakir flight to be available
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – Direct flights from the capital of Kurdistan Region of Iraq to the biggest Kurdish city in Turkey are to begin in two days.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced the news last week while visiting the local branch of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the Kurdish-dominated city of Diyarbakir.
"We are about to launch flights for our Kurdish and Turkish brothers out of Diyarbakir...and this step will make Diyarbakir a key center in the [Turkey’s southern] region as well as a symbol of brotherhood," he said.
Davutoglu confirmed that the direct flights between Erbil and Diyarbakir will consolidate the relations between Turkey and Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
He added that flights from Diyarbakir to the Northern Cyprus will start on May 1.
Speaking to Kurdistan24, MP Galip Ensarioglu of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, said that the direct flights between Erbil and Diyarbakir will remove all obstacles the travellers have suffered before.
“Now travellers of Erbil and Diyarbakir do not need to take the indirect flights to Ankara or Istanbul as the direct flights are to be available soon,” Ensarioglu said.
Diyarbakir was the scene of several weeks of combat between security forces and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters in the first few months of this year.
Turkey’s southeast has been wracked by violence since a ceasefire between the PKK and the government collapsed last July. The Turkish government has claimed to have killed thousands of militants since then, while more than 350 members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in the fighting.
Reporting by Hisham Arafat
Editing by Ava Homa