Turkey bans citizens from Syria, Yemen and Iraq from flying to Minsk

Turkey has blocked citizens of Syria, Yemen and Iraq from buying flight tickets to Belarus, as the EU puts pressure on foreign governments over their role in the arrival of thousands of people from the Middle East at its eastern border.

Hundreds of people are now living in a tent camp on the Belarus-Poland border in near-freezing temperatures. Poland, which has established a state of emergency in the border region enforced by hundreds of troops, refuses to allow them in.

The Polish defence minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, said on Friday that British Royal Engineers had deployed with Polish troops at the border to reconnoitre and plan reinforcements to fencing meant to keep migrants out of the EU.

Turkish Airlines and Belavia have denied any role in trafficking people to Belarus. Belavia had previously said it could not deny a ticket-holder the right to fly if their documents were in order.

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