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Germany, Turkey Cooperate in Airline Row

Turkish and German officials said Tuesday that they would work with Turkish airline Onur Air to tackle technical problems which have grounded the company in Germany and in three other European countries.

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Not doing much business right now

"Turkish and German authorities are working in close cooperation with Onur Air in order to resolve technical problems as soon as possible," read a joint statement by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who met Warsaw on the sidelines of the Council of Europe summit.

"We have agreed that related authorities work in close cooperation should technical problems such as these arise in the future," it continued.

Both leaders also promised to pursue close cooperation in tourism.

Last Thursday, Dutch authorities had suspended Onur Air, a private airline, from flying in the Netherlands for a month owing to safety concerns. Germany, France and Switzerland followed suit.

Onur threatens legal action

Onur Air denounced the bans as moves aimed at snatching its share in the European markets and has threatened to sue both Dutch and German authorities if they do not provide justification for the suspensions.

Onur Air unter Druck

An Onur Air plane during a previous take-off

"The lawyer for Onur Air has summoned the civil aviation inspection to reveal the fact that lead to the suspension and to revoke the ban before 12 p.m. on Tuesday under pain of a legal action," airline spokesman Kees Postema said.

He added that the situation after the ultimatum had passed was unclear because Onur Air had not heard from its lawyer.

EU Commission calls meeting

The European Commission meanwhile has called a special meeting with representatives of all 25 member states to discuss further action in the matter. The meeting will also be a chance to Dutch, German and French authorities to give reasons for the suspension.

Should these countries present convincing reasons for serious problems with the airline's safety, the Commission could call on other member states to consider suspensions as well. Such steps can only be taken by national air safety authorities, however.

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