Turkey summons Israel’s charge d’affaires after nine of its citizens held at airport

Published 26.06.2015 15:29
Updated 26.06.2015 15:31

Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Israel's charge d'affaires on Friday after they deported nine Turkish citizens, including journalists and activists.

The Turkish citizens were questioned for nine hours and despite having the required visas, seven of them were sent back. Two journalists with the state TRT broadcaster were allowed in, the foreign ministry stated, condemning the decision to eject the group.

"To show our reaction to the treatment of our citizens and to receive an explanation, the Israeli charge d'affaires has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry," it said. The charge d'affaires is Israel's most senior official at the embassy.

"The seven people were sent back for security reasons," Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told Reuters, declining to elaborate.

The group of nine Turks had traveled to Israel on Thursday to attend an iftar program marking the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

Among the nine who were detained at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport were Ulke TV Editor-in-Chief Hasan Öztürk, Özden Ayvaz and Hüseyin Günay from TRT News, Halime Kökçe from Star newspaper, Memur-sen vice chairman Levent Uslu and four activists - Kemal Özdal, Dürdane Özdal, Fatih Bolcan and Sümeyra Bolcan.

Tweeting about the incident Halime Kökçe from Star newspaper said that the group had been banned from Israel for 10 years.

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