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Cyprus

Inquiry launched after school trip used airline that flies to Tymbou

The education ministry announced on Tuesday that an administrative inquiry has been ordered into how high school pupils ended up travelling with a Turkish airline that used Tymbou airport in the occupied north.

The probe was ordered after daily Phileleftheros reported that pupils and teachers used Pegasus Airlines to fly to Trabzon, Turkey for the World School Games that were held between July 11 and 18.

It is understood that this was the third leg of the trip. The pupils flew to Athens first, then Istanbul, and then to Trabzon.

The decision irked the foreign ministry, which wrote to the education ministry permanent secretary describing it as “unfortunate.”

The foreign ministry said Pegasus carried out flights to Turkish-occupied Tymbou airport, in violation of the law of the Republic, and such arrangements should be avoided in the future.

The education ministry said it was looking into the affair but also asked the foreign ministry and the treasurer to “set up a procedure that would ensure such incidents would not be repeated in the future.”
Parties censured the education ministry’s decision.

DIKO said it was an “unacceptable, damaging, and inexplicable” decision, charging that there was lack of communication in the government.

“We urge the government to try and achieve the basic degree of understanding in its ranks, at least to prevent other decisions that harm the Republic and its economy,” the party said.

EDEK said the use of the breakaway state’s airlines was a massive blunder and proof that certain serious matters were handled with frivolity.

The Green party condemned the decision and demanded immediate explanations.

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