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Transportation support for Turkey-Baghdad trade relations
Turkish Airlines has started flying to Baghdad. The opening ceremony on 26 October 2008 was attended by Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım, Minister of State for foreign trade Kürşad Tüzmen, Turkish Airlines' President Temel Kotil and other top-level officials.
At the meeting, where Turkish Airlines' officials were welcomed by Iraq's Transport Minister, Amer Abdeljabbar Ismael, and Minister of Trade, Abdalfalah Al Sudani, Turkey's Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım said that the new flights would to contribute to the development of Iraq-Turkey relations.
Pointing out that the agreement signed in the area of air transport between the transport ministries of the two countries was the most liberal agreement of its kind in the region, Yıldırım added, “Suddenly a large number of airlines are flying to Iraq from various cities in Turkey and offering 'charter' flights. Flights can similarly be made to Turkey from different cities in Iraq; there are no restrictions on this.” Continued Yıldırım, “The mutual development of air transport is the basis for starting up the new flights between Istanbul and Baghdad. By introducing these flights, we have not only established a transport bridge between the two countries, we have also introduced Istanbul to Baghdad.”
Speaking after Binali Yıldırım, the Iraq Transport Minister Abdalfarah Al Sudani stressed that the Turkish government had acted ahead of everyone else in its support to Baghdad and he thanked Turkey for this. The Iraqi minister added that the volume of trade between the two countries this year is targeted to come to 5 billion dollars.
Reminding listeners that Turkish companies had undertaken a number of projects in Iraq, Sudani said, “In addition to the İbrahim Halil entry point, we are expecting other border crossings to open as well.” Remarking that there is no trade without transport, Sudani pointed out that they wanted to develop the railroads as well. The Iraqi Minister emphasized that transport was going to be an effective vehicle in Iraq's trade with Europe via Turkey.
Turkish Airlines flies round-trip to Baghdad on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.