Kazakhstan and Turkey Discuss Flight Renewal After Abrupt Seizure Earlier in August

NUR-SULTAN – Following a presidential order, the Kazakh governmental delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov arrived to resolve the issue of flight suspensions between Kazakhstan and Turkey on Aug. 7 in Ankara, Turkey, the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ press service reported.

The Kazakh delegation meeting with the representatives of Turkish government on Aug. 7 in Ankara, Turkey.

On Aug. 5, Turkey decided to suspend flights with several countries including Kazakhstan. The Turkish government informed Kazakh authorities and local airlines on short notice.

The Kazakh delegation and Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca discussed the state of the COVID-19 epidemiological situation in Kazakhstan Aug. 7 and the possibility of resume flights between the countries.

Kazakh Healthcare Minister Alexei Tsoy assured the Turkish side that the situation in Kazakhstan has stabilized and is under control during the meeting in Ankara.

“Following the talks, Koca promised that this issue will be included in the agenda of the next meeting of the Turkish Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, and expressed hope for an early resolution of this issue, taking into account the positive trends in the situation with coronavirus in Kazakhstan,” the official statement reads.

The parties agreed to cooperate in preventing the spread of coronavirus and strengthen bilateral cooperation in general. The Kazakh delegation thanked the Turkish government for the medical aid provided during the pandemic.

On the same day, Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi called his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to discuss the issue of flight suspension between Kazakhstan and Turkey.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry assured him that this decision was not to be taken as a blow to bilateral relations, and that the Turkish authorities will reconsider resuming regular flights at the next meeting of the Turkish State Commission – once the current status of the pandemic had been taken into account.

The Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs also asked Turkish Ambassador to Kazakhstan Ufuk Ekiji to inform the Kazakh authorities in advance about such decisions from the Turkish side.

Later in the evening, Turkish Embassy in Kazakhstan tweeted about the suspension of passenger flights between the countries from Aug. 5. According to the embassy, the decision covers all airlines operating passenger traffic between Turkey and Kazakhstan.

After the decision, the last Kazakhstan-Turkey flights for Aug. 5-6 with permits completed their flights.

The Turkish Embassy in Kazakhstan also stressed that “Turkey appreciates the measures taken by the fraternal country of Kazakhstan in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.”

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