If Brussels goes forward with sanctions against the airline, this would be the bloc's first concrete pushback against Ankara's ongoing protection of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko from accountability for human rights violations.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday that the European Union is exploring "how to sanction, including through blacklisting, third-country airlines that are active in human trafficking" by flying migrants to Belarus.
The European Union in June prohibited E.U. airlines from flying over Belarus and banned Belarusian airlines from flying over E.U. territory or landing in E.U. airports. Despite the prohibition, Turkish Airlines has continued to operate regular flights to Minsk, alongside Syria's Cham Wings and the Emirati budget airline FlyDubai.
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