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Airport wars flare up in Turkey amid claims of Gulf acquisition 

A row over the fate of Istanbul’s iconic Ataturk Airport has escalated in Turkey amid opposition claims that a plan to demolish the facility is designed to gratify Gulf investors interested in operating the city’s newer airport.
Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 takes off.
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Turkey’s ever-controversial Istanbul Airport is back in the eye of a political storm, sparked by opposition claims that a plan to sell its operations to Gulf investors is behind a government decision to demolish the city’s iconic but now-idle Ataturk Airport.

The sprawling Istanbul Airport became operational in 2018 amid simmering criticism over its financial merits, location and environmental impact, coupled with allegations of cronyism regarding the companies involved in the project. The posh facility, launched with an initial capacity to handle 90 million passengers per year and plans for further expansion to 200 million passengers, led to the closure of the historic Ataturk Airport, becoming the sole airport on Istanbul’s European side. 

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