reading time: 3 min.

Iain Duncan Smith Reiterates Call for Direct Flights to TRNC

Iain Duncan Smith Reiterates Call for Direct Flights to TRNC

UK Conservative Party MP Iain Duncan Smith has reiterated his call for direct flights from the UK to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Publish Date: 24/06/24 14:50
reading time: 3 min.
Iain Duncan Smith Reiterates Call for Direct Flights to TRNC
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Highlighting the challenges faced by many Turkish Cypriots in his constituencies of Chingford and Woodford Green due to the current situation in Cyprus, Smith emphasized the impact of international isolation on Northern Cyprus.

Smith noted that except for Turkey, the international community, including the United Kingdom, does not recognize TRNC as an independent state. Consequently, Northern Cyprus faces significant international isolation and restrictions on direct flights from other countries.

"I have been campaigning for direct flights to Northern Cyprus for some time now. Currently, Ercan Airport (LCEN) serves as the main hub for Northern Cyprus. While Southern Cyprus benefits from direct flights, Northern Cyprus can only offer flights with one or two stopovers, causing inconvenience for travelers. My call for direct flights supports my Turkish Cypriot constituents who need to visit their properties regularly and assist their elderly relatives," said Smith.

Despite repeated concerns raised by Smith and a group of parliamentarians, the UK Government's stance on direct flights has remained unchanged. Smith expressed his frustration, stating that there is still no plan to authorize direct flights between the UK and Northern Cyprus.

"I have raised this issue with the Government multiple times on behalf of my Turkish Cypriot constituents. The Foreign Office has explained that Ercan Airport is not recognized as an international airport by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Therefore, the UK Government cannot negotiate an Air Services Agreement with the Northern Cyprus administration, hindering the resumption of direct flights," Smith explained.

Smith further mentioned that on the advice of the Transport Minister, a UK security company had assessed Ercan Airport and made recommendations for it to meet UK security standards. However, additional inspections to determine if the airport met the necessary security standards were blocked by the Republic of Cyprus, causing disappointment.

"It is time to end such an unfair and restrictive travel ban. If re-elected as the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, I will continue to call on the Government to permit direct flights between the UK and Northern Cyprus and to prevent further isolation of Turkish Cypriots from the international community," concluded Smith.

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