Skip to comments.El Al Suspends All Turkey Flights
Posted on 06/25/2004 2:57:52 PM PDT by blam
El Al suspends all Turkey flights
El Al says is trying to find alternative flights for stranded passengers
Israeli airline El Al has suspended all its flights to Turkey in a row over security in Istanbul. The suspension, which started on Thursday, has left air passengers stranded in both Turkey and Israel.
The dispute follows weeks of growing tension between the two countries' governments, after Turkey's prime minister criticised Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
But the row is thought to be unrelated to Thursday's bomb attacks in Turkey.
The flights were halted after reports that the number of Israeli guards permitted at Istanbul had been reduced.
According to Israel Radio, the decision to stop El Al's six weekly flights to Istanbul was taken on the advice of Israel's Shin Bet security service.
"We hope this crisis will be resolved soon"
El Al spokesman
Media reports said Turkey had unilaterally changed security arrangements covering the number of Israeli security staff permitted at Istanbul's Attaturk international airport.
The weapons they were permitted to carry and their terms of operation were also said to have been changed.
There was no independent confirmation from El Al of the exact nature of the dispute.
But Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman David Saranga said his office was holding "intensive and ongoing contact with the Turkish authorities to try to find a solution".
An El Al official said the airline was trying to help passengers stranded in both Israel and Turkey to find other flights.
"We intend to find solutions for all our passengers," said Itamar Bartuv. "We hope this crisis will be resolved soon."
Other airlines' flights between Israel and Turkey were not hit.
Tension between the two governments increased last month when Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of using "state terror" in a raid in the Gaza Strip.
The row was reignited when US media reports accused Israel of training Kurdish commando units in northern Iraq.
Turkey has a mainly Muslim population but a secular government, and until the row erupted was a close regional ally of Israel.
The only thing that should matter to conservative Americans---- those of us fully supporting Mr Bush in a tough reelection effort----is that President Bush is solidly behind Turkey as an ally and is promoting Turkey as a full-fledged member of the EU.
As a bona fide conservative, President Bush values loyalty, as all we conservatives do. So if he is backing Turkey, he has a good reason.
It's outrageous that some are abandoning Mr Bush at a time when he needs conservatives firmly in his camp. Conservatives should be praising Mr Bush's efforts.
BTW, at the time of the Iraq invasion, the noises emanating from neocon warhawks was that their package included Turkey in the coalition. Too bad the n/c's couldn't deliver.
I'm with the President; if he feels the need to coddle Turkey against frahnce, fine. And yes, Turkey is "moderate" and a semi democracy, but pee in my ear and tell me it's raining OR what great allies they are, OR how the neojoos couldn't deliver....
Bwahahahaha........ "pee in my ear....... or ........"
Heh, I like your passion/temper.
Ridiculous ideas, not worthy of discusssion, only worthy of reprimand and rebuke.