Iceland admits authorities correctly notified by Turkey before airport incident

Published 01.07.2019 00:10

Iceland has admitted that Turkey had an official request for a fast-track security check at the airport for Turkish football players, who were held up by the airport police and waited for hours.

Iceland's Foreign Ministry said the Turkish Embassy had sent a request for a fast-track check at the airport three weeks before the arrival, according to an RUV news agency report on June 23.

On June 9, Turkish national football team arrived at Keflavik International Airport for a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match and airport police kept them waiting for three hours at passport control and subjected their personal belongings to an invasive search.

According to Turkish forward Burak Yılmaz, Iceland authorities made the team wait more than three hours at passport control and subjected them to strict security checks, repeatedly searching each player's belongings thoroughly.

Meanwhile, an unidentified man held up what appeared to be a toilet brush to Turkey's midfielder Emre Belözoğlu, imitating reporters talking to players.

Turkish social media users joined in the criticism and demanded Iceland identify the man, responding with indignation, and graphics showing the Icelandic flag with a brush taking the place of the vertical bar of its red cross.

The hashtag #TurksAreComingForIceland trended on Twitter in Turkey. Famous Turkish artists also rallied on social media to support the national team. Following the Turkish rejection of treatment of the Turkish national football team, Iceland's Foreign Ministry claimed that Turkish authorities notified Iceland "only hours prior" to the team's arrival in the country. However, Turkey sent a request for football players through diplomatic channels on May 16.

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