December 8, 2023


Meeting at the Ministry of Tourism and Environment – 26th May 2017

Ismet Esenyel, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment asked Chris Elliott of to facilitate a meeting with representatives of expatriate NGO’s to discuss the new travel arrangements which come into effect on 1st June 2017 in respect of flights to and from Ercan Airport via Turkey to the UK with Pegasus Airlines.

The meeting took place at the office of Ismet Esenyel at the Ministry of Tourism on 26th May and was attended by Nicky Montgomery, (Anglo Turkish Association – ATA), Peter Wilkins and Mike Diplock (British Residents’ Society – BRS), Willy Lindh and Toon Hansen (The Foreign Residents in the TRNC – TFR), Mikhail Lalajev representing the Russian community.  A letter had been forwarded to the Undersecretary from John Aziz Kent – Honorary President of the Hoteliers Association giving his views and also an email from Sir Michael Graydon  – President of  the Royal British Legion – Kyrenia Branch.  Kerem Hassan of the Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad and Cyprus Today newspaper was also present at the meeting.

Ismet Esenyel welcomed everyone and we were then joined by Zeki Ziya – Director of Cyprus Xp Group which represents Pegasus Airlines in the TRNC and Orhan Tolun – President of Cyprus Turkish Tourism and Travel Agents Union (KITSAB).

The participants at the meeting were invited to ask questions and Zeki Ziya confirmed that the new regulations have no bearing on the security in place at Ercan Airport, the reason given is that Ercan Airport is not “visible” and therefore all passengers both to and from the UK must disembark the aircraft in Turkey and be screened again, together with all of their luggage, before boarding a new flight from Turkey to the UK. This arrangement also applies on return flights from the UK to Ercan Airport despite passengers and luggage being screened at the UK departure airport.   He stated that this is very unfair treatment by the UK authorities as aircraft coming from most other European countries merely land in Turkey and then resume the journey to Ercan after a period of time on the tarmac, during which time the flight number is changed, which was the case previously with Pegasus Airlines.   Toon Hansen confirmed that when he travels from The Netherlands to the TRNC the aircraft lands and waits on the tarmac for a period of time before continuing the journey to the TRNC, the passengers do not have to disembark.

The screening process at Ercan Airport is carried out immediately passengers enter the building before checking in luggage and a further screening of passengers and hand luggage is carried out at passport control, before entering the departure area.   If there is not an issue with security at Ercan then why does the process have to be carried out again in Turkey?   By the same token this arrangement also applies on return flights from the UK to Ercan Airport despite passengers and luggage being screened at the UK departure airport, so why is there a need for screening again in Turkey?

There was much discussion about this and it was suggested that each of the NGO’s should write a letter to the British High Commissioner in Cyprus, asking for an explanation for these new regulations, when they have been perfectly adequate previously.

One other subject which was discussed was the fact that the UK Home Office had previously arranged training for Ercan Airport personnel for which certificates were also issued, but for some reason this practice ceased in 2014.   Why?

The new travel requirements issued by the UK Authorities will drastically affect tourism in the TRNC and also Pegasus Airlines which is the main carrier to and from the TRNC.


9 thoughts on “Pegasus Airlines new flight arrangements to and from the UK via Turkey

  1. Whilst it is a good move to involve british and oter foreighn residents in this matter it is not only they who will be affected by this inhumane practice.
    Going through security again will not only add hours to the already long journey it will mean the journey will be much more problematic for everyone but especially the elderly, those with children, the disabled and pregnant women.
    I still have not seen any official reaction to this from the trnc government or presidency!
    Their excuse for this new practice is that Ercan is an ‘unseen’ airport. If that is the case why have the British authorities co-operated with the Government and security forces of the country of this ‘unseen’ airport??
    Perhaps we need to get those who cannot see Ercan a good pair of glasses or better technology so they can see it !!
    Another question I want an answer to is what would happen if Pegasus did not comply with this ‘request’ ?

    1. Thank you Hatice and as you will have read, on cyprusscene, a Ministry of Tourism inspired meeting was held to bring together expatriate NGO’s to discuss the issue and the collective decision was that all NGO’s that wished to, would make representation by letter asking the British Authorities for answers to 2 questions .

      ATCA was represented at this meeting and perhaps you as ATCA, would also like to write to the British Authorities for answers to the 2 questions plus you can ask what would happen if Pegasus Airlines did not comply as you stated.

      Please be aware that the Ministry of Tourism were taking notes but their news and photo was not distributed to news media at the time of the publication of the cyprusscene article.

      Cyprusscene will publish their news as soon as it is received from the Ministry of Tourism.

  2. If TRNC is part of Turkey, I.e. Mersin 10, and Turkey is visible!!! why is this recommendation even being considered? Surely Internal flights are a matter for that Country and no business of Britain! I thought Brussels controlled all the flights anyway through air traffic control!

    1. Rosemary- the issue ,is for flights to the uk -which makes it an inernational flight

  3. It’s obviously designed to put people off and direct them to fly to the the south of Cyprus to avoid the hastle, they then will be forced to pay a fortune to get a cab across. I know some people do this anyway but the price would more than double am sure. Britain made a promise to the Greeks that they will give them Cyprus since 1915 and they will slowly honour it. I love all of Cyprus and the people too.

  4. Thanks to you both, a very interesting meeting and an excellent report.x

    This message is sent to you from Nicky’s iPad


  5. Are all these people in the UK and here in TRNC going around with their head in the clouds, it is Greek Cypriots that have caused all this as one reply read it will then make everybody travel from the South side therefore Ercan may as well not exist.

    I am so angry, these bloody Greeks think they own this Island and they don’t and never have done. Here we are wasting our time trying to make things up, it’s the Greek Cypriots that have caused this and are not prepared to make things up.

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