Turkish Cyprus applies for direct UK flights

Turkish Cyprus Airlines has applied to the British Civil Aviation Authority for a license to operate flights to London.

According to Mehmet Ali Talat, Turkish Cypriot President, the application was made last week for Turkish Cyprus Airlines to fly to the English capital from Tymbou (Ercan).

He said that there were many Turkish Cypriots living in the UK and many Britons interested in visiting the north of the Mediterranean island. “We hope that the UK will take a positive step and allow direct flights to the island,” he said.

The desire to begin an air link to London has provoked reaction from Greek commentators, however, who noted that Turkish Cyprus is not a recognised state.

Government spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis said he hoped Great Britain would not take any action that would constitute “an indirect recognition of a breakaway entity”, the Cyprus Mail reports.

However, an air link would be sure to bring much-needed investment to a state that has suffered from political isolation. The only direct flights to northern Cyprus at present are from Turkey.