Turkey slams Iceland’s treatment of footballers

Turkey has issued a diplomatic note to Iceland condemning the ill-treatment of the footballers. The national football team were not allowed to leave Keflavik Airport for over three hours and their luggage was painstakingly searched, players said.

Turkish authorities on Monday condemned the "unacceptable" treatment of Turkey's national football team at Iceland's airport.

Turkey's national team arrived at Keflavik Airport in Iceland late Sunday for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier to be played on Tuesday.

According to the footballers, Icelandic authorities made the national team wait for around three hours during the passport check station and rigorously searched personal belongings of the footballers.

"Racist", "rude", "disrespectful" and "offensive" is how a player and fans described the treatment of the team.

Turkey issued a diplomatic note to Iceland over the incident.

Stop and search

After landing in the country's Keflavik Airport, the team were not allowed to leave for over three hours and were given no reason for the delay.

Later, airport officials insisted on searching the bags of all players and staff.

To add fuel to the fire, the immigration control took a very long time to process the passports of players and staff.

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

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

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

But a much angrier response came from vice-captain Burak Yilmaz.

"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."

Icelandic officials and UEFA are yet to comment.

'Unacceptable behaviour'

The note sent through Turkey's Embassy in Oslo condemned the disrespectful and violent behaviours against Turkish footballers during passport control.

In a Twitter post, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu termed the treatment at the Iceland airport unacceptable.

The treatment towards our national team at the Iceland airport is not acceptable in terms of both diplomatic and humanitarian practices, Cavusoglu said.

Meanwhile, Turkish Ambassador to Norway Fazli Corman left for Iceland in order to express his country's discomfort over the recent developments.

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

Source: TRT World