Economy, Domestic Economy

Flights Suspended, Land Borders Shut After Turkey Coup Attempt

Flights Suspended, Land Borders Shut After Turkey Coup AttemptFlights Suspended, Land Borders Shut After Turkey Coup Attempt

Flights between Iran and Turkey have been suspended and border-crossings have been temporarily closed in the wake of a bloody coup attempt in Turkey on Friday night.

Seventeen flights from Imam Khomeini International Airport to Turkey, scheduled between 23:30 Tehran local time on Friday and Saturday midnight, were cancelled after attempts by a Turkish Army faction to oust the Turkish government caused havoc in the neighboring country, IRNA reported.

Ataturk Airport in Turkish capital Istanbul was among the very first places the Turkish military tried to seal off. Crowds of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later overran the airport, greeting the president who was able to reemerge from a retreat on the coast of the Aegean Sea and fly to Istanbul.

“Conditions are not safe for operating flights in Turkey,” Saeed Akbari, deputy head of Iran Airports Company was quoted as saying on Saturday.

“Turkey has said it is ready to operate flights, but there are currently no flight activities in Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. The Sabiha Gokcen airport near Istanbul operates domestic flights only.”

Reza Jafarzadeh, a spokesperson for Iran Civil Aviation Organization, said the organization has issued permits for domestic airlines to fly empty planes to the Turkish cities of Ankara and Istanbul to fetch Iranian tourists there.

Two-way road transit has also taken a blow from the recent developments.

Three active border-crossings of Bazargan, Sarv and Razi were closed immediately after the coup attempt reports broke out. Traffic resumed at Bazargan while the other two crossings were yet to reopen as of Saturday evening.

Turkey is currently Iran’s only land transit route to Europe. More than $10 billion worth of goods are annually traded between the two countries.

Meanwhile, an agricultural trade forum between Iran and Turkey’s business figures, which was originally scheduled to be held in Ankara on Tuesday, has been called off pending a reschedule. Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati was due to attend the event.