Turkish Airlines makes inaugural flight to Erbil
Turkish Airlines (THY) this week launched flights to Erbil, its second destination in Iraq after Baghdad. Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, Energy and Natural Resources Undersecretary Metin Kilci, THY Chairman Hamdi Topcu and a group of Turkish businesspeople were on the inaugural THY plane to Erbil. Speaking in Erbil, Simsek hailed the new service. "I bring you greetings from out prime minister," he said in Kurdish. "We have been brothers for a thousand years. We are here to promote peace, stability and growth." Speaking at Erbil International Airport, a facility built by Turkish company Cengiz Construction and opened two weeks ago by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he also reiterated Ankara's support for the Iraqi Kurdish region. "In recent years, we have been developing our relations with neighboring countries based on a policy of zero problems and through strong cooperation as well as more investments," he explained. "Turkish Airlines flights to Erbil are a physical manifestation of the existing ties between the hearts of the Turks and Iraqis. I hope these flights will make great contributions to trade, investment and cooperation between our peoples." With the new service, THY will fly from Istanbul to Erbil on Tuesday and Saturday and from Erbil to Istanbul on Wednesday and Sunday.