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Turkish Airlines has denied reports linking it with the shipment of arms to unknown groups in Nigeria.
A statement issued and signed by the airline’s general manager in Kano, Mr. Ahmet Can Akbuga said the carriage of arms and military supplies by Turkish Airlines were done in line with global practices .
The statement reads : The carriage of arms are being made on cargo in the framework of the relevant international law and International Air Transport Association (IATA) transportation rules, in strict conformity with the official procedures.
“On the carriage of arms, the forwarders and addressees can send their cargo with Turkish Airlines Cargo through the representative they have designated, after accomplishing the necessary official approval procedure from the relevant state authorities.
Turkish Airlines Cargo effectuates such shipment again in strict conformity with the law and rules of the forwarders’ and addressees’ countries and by taking necessary security measures as are doing the other air carriers.
“According its corporate policy, Turkish Airlines is not effectuating the carriage of arms to/from the countries that United Nations Security Council has imposed an arms ban, lacking authority and/or under conflict.
“This is also the case for the country mentioned on the news, Turkish Airlines has not effectuated any carriage of arms to that country from Turkey nor from any country,” said Akbuga.
Recall that A foreign news agency quoted a tape posted on YouTube in which one of the airline’s executives, Mr. Mehmet Karatas, was heard as telling Mr. Mustafa Varank, an adviser to the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that he (Karatas) ‘feels guilty over the national flag carrier’s arms shipments to Nigeria.”
“I do not know whether these (weapons) will kill Muslims or Christians. I feel sinful,” Karatas was alleged to have said.