Turkey condemns Iceland’s “unacceptable” treatment of footballers at airport

Turkish captain Emre Belozoglu met a man who held a toilet brush to his face.

Turkey has issued a diplomatic note to Iceland slamming the “unacceptable” treatment its national football team received at the airport.

The Turkish footballers were not allowed to leave Keflavik Airport for over three hours and their luggage was thoroughly searched, according to players.

Last Monday, Turkish authorities condemned the “unacceptable” treatment of its national team at Iceland’s airport.

The Turkish national team arrived at Keflavik Airport in Iceland on Sunday 9 June for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier, which they lost 2-1 on Tuesday 11 June.

According to Turkish players, Icelandic authorities made the national team wait for over three hours during the immigration check and thoroughly searched the luggage of the footballers.

After landing in Iceland’s Keflavik Airport, the team were not given any reason for the three hour delay.

Later, airport security officials demanded to search the bags of all staff and players.

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To make it worse, immigration control took even longer to check the passports of staff and players.

The team were eventually allowed to leave the airport with their luggage in tow.

While speaking to media on his way out, Turkey’s captain Emre Belozoglu was met by a man who held a toilet brush to his face as a makeshift microphone.

Belozoglu ignored the provocation and told media, “We were searched more than once which was unnecessary, and we were told to wait until now.”

Viice-captain Burak Yilmaz issued a much angrier response: “What they have done is disrespectful and rude! We have been waiting here for three hours.

“They took everyone’s bags and even everyone’s cosmetics. They searched it again and again. We flew for 6.5 hours and we’ve waited for three hours.”

UEFA and Icelandic officials are yet to comment.

The diplomatic note sent via Turkey’s Embassy in Oslo slammed the “violent” and “disrespectful” manner in which Turkish national team were treated.

In a Twitter post, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described the treatment at the Icelandic airport “unacceptable.”

He said: “The treatment towards our national team at the Iceland airport is not acceptable in terms of both diplomatic and humanitarian practices.”

Turkey’s ambassador to Norway, Fazli Corman, left for Iceland to demonstrate his country’s discontentment over the incident.

Fahrettin Altun, Communications Director of the Turkish Presidency, also condemned the officials responsible for the airport crisis.

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