Since Ercan cannot be used for direct international flights, a factor which increases travel time and the cost of airfares, the UBP in cooperation with Turkey is suggesting that Ercan be added to Turkey’s domestic flight destinations. Prime Minister Faiz Sucuoğlu appeared to be less concerned about any diplomatic fallout than reducing the cost of airfares, meanwhile others have expressed their reservations.
Former President Mustafa Akıncı has reacted to the statements about Ercan being included in Turkey’s domestic airline destinations, Yenidüzen reported on Monday. Akıncı said, “Are we in the mood to rejoice that Ercan will be made a domestic line and take one more step in the process of becoming a province?“
Akıncı’s statement is as follows:
“The anti-democratic attitude, which made the heaviest intervention in our presidential election in our history and turned our people away from airports with arbitrary decisions without any legal basis, continues to unjustly imprison Osman Kavala as well as Selahattin Demirtaş. Are we in the mood to rejoice that an administration that is rapidly approaching the point of total exclusion from its institutions will make Ercan a domestic destination and take one more step in the process of provincialization?“
In a separate article, Yeniduzen reports on reactions by other politicians.
Former Minister of Transport, Tolga Atakan, said, “It does not seem very realistic to implement this,” and pointed out that such ideas are put forward from time to time without being implemented.
“Actually, what is intended is to reconcile the taxation in the domestic line tariff with our country while issuing tickets….All airports in TRNC are private airports. Its technical implementation doesn’t make much sense. In terms of taxation, it is mentioned that the tax bracket, which is on the domestic lines, will be applied to Ercan as well. I don’t really think that this is possible. There may be various problems on issues such as how airports in Turkey will implement this, Civil Aviation sanctions, and operators’ agreements. All this must be overcome. It just doesn’t feel very realistic to bring that to life“, said Atakan.
Another former transport minister Salih Usar said, “This is the product of an understanding aimed at eliminating the TRNC. What about two separate states, where is the TRNC discourse then?” he asked.
Pointing out that domestic flights are an activity carried out by a country within the framework of its own airspace, Usar said that this move technically, was not possible, despite the cooperation in civil aviation between the two states.
“Ercan’s inclusion within the scope of domestic flights would not be out of the question. This means tackling the identity and personality of the TRNC, the country, there can be no other interpretation.
“Our civil aviation service controls the planes passing through our airspace. I understand if we are not in a position to present it, but it is being offered. This is a situation accepted by the UN. Besides, in the Annan Plan, Ercan had established itself as an entity”, he concluded.
Director of Pegasus TRNC Zeki Ziya also stated that there need to be more details made available to make an assessment.
He said, “It is another case to include it in the scope of domestic flights, it is another case to apply the data on domestic flights here as well. If it is to be included in [Turkey’s] domestic flights, it means that they cancel the TRNC. If the tax applied in the Domestic Terminal in Turkey were also applied here, then a positive step would be taken, there would be a big economic difference here,” he said.