Turkey on April 22 stopped Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik’s plane from flying over its territory, preventing him from attending a ceremony to mark the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, The Daily Star reports.
“Although all authorisations for this flight had been initially obtained, Turkish authorities did not allow the flight over their territory,” Dodik’s cabinet said in a statement.
The plane carrying the president of Republika Srpska, a Serb-run entity of Bosnia, returned to his capital Banja Luka after spending four and a half hours at an airport in eastern Bulgaria, waiting in vain for authorisation to fly over Turkish territory, the statement said.
Hundreds of thousands are expected to flock to the towering Genocide memorial in Armenia’s capital Yerevan on Friday to mark the start of a tragedy that still stirs deep divisions.
French President Francois Hollande and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are among those expected to attend Friday’s ceremonies.
Earlier this month Dodik submitted to the Republika Srpska’s parliament a declaration recognising the massacres as genocide.
The legislative body will likely adopt the declaration in the coming days.