Report Says Turkey Blocked Plane Carrying COVID-19 Gear to Cyprus

Αssociated press

Children stand on the base of a beacon at the entrance of a harbor in Cyprus seaside resort village of Ayia Napa that is popular with tourists, Saturday, May 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

With the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic winding down on Cyprus, including the Turkish-occupied northern third, a chartered airplane carrying medical supplies and protective gear was said turned back from Turkish airspace and not allowed to land.

The Cyprus Mail said the plane hired by the legitimate government, a member of the European Union that Turkey has been trying to join since 2005, was carrying 36 tons of 

medical gowns, masks, gloves and other supplies from China.

“Turkey did not allow the pilot of the aircraft to enter its airspace to reach Cyprus, as a result of which he recalculated his course because he would not have enough fuel to get to Cyprus. The pilot has changed course and is heading to Moscow airport in Russia, where he will land to refuel,” Cypriot Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos was quoted as saying.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus has been informed of the incident in order to take the necessary steps where necessary,” the minister said, adding that the airplane was expected to arrive using a different route.

There was no indication whether Turkish authorities had been asked to comment or why the plane carrying humanitarian goods was turned away.