"Demand for air travel in Turkey rose by an annual average rate of 10.5 percent during the past decade, going from 62 million to 174 million passengers," said Funda Ocak, head of the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMİ).

She said that the number of flights, including overflights, in the country's airspace continued to rise in the first half of the year to 870,853 flights, up from 863,796 flights in the same period last year.

"In 2002, Turkish Airlines [THY] operated services from two hubs” -- Istanbul and Ankara -- “to 18 domestic destinations. Today, six different airlines operate services from seven domestic hubs to 55 domestic destinations," Ocak added.

"The number of overflights in the first half year climbed nearly 8.9 percent to 188,331 from the previous year.

"Overflights in Turkish airspace reached a record level on Sunday, with 1,443 flights," she added.