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Turkish officials slam Iceland 'disrespect' after football team held up at airport

The incidents happened after Turkey beat France 2-0 in the Euro 2020 qualifiers [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 June, 2019

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The Turkish football team was held up for hours at Reykjavik Airport by intense security checks before being subjected to a prank, leading to protests from Turkish officials.
Turkish officials vehemently criticised Iceland on Monday over "disrespectful" treatment of Turkey's football team at Reykjavik airport.

The team was kept waiting for several hours at passport control on Sunday night and subjected to intense security checks, according to reports from the players published by Turkish media.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin took to Twitter to show his anger, slamming the "disrespect" against the national team as "unacceptable".

"Our state and our people stand by the national team, which will give the best response on the field," he said.

Fahrettin Altun, communications director at the Turkish presidency, also said the treatment was "not in line with diplomatic courtesy or sportsmanlike conduct."

The foreign ministry issued a diplomatic protest note to Iceland via the Norwegian embassy, the private NTV broadcaster reported.

There was no immediate explanation for the delay at passport control.

"We have been waiting for three hours. They took everyone's bags," Turkey midfielder Emre Belozoglu tweeted from the airport.

"What they have done is disrespectful."

Things were made worse when an Icelandic man pretending to be a reporter tried to "interview" Turkish player Emre Belozuglu in a prank which did not go down well with Turkish players and officials.

Turkish Twitter users described the prank as a "provocation", "racist" and a "disgrace".

 

The incident comes right after Turkey defeated world champions France 2-0 in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.

Turkey's new manager, Senol Gunes, has won all three of his competition matches since taking over this year, and the team is three points clear of France at the top of Group H.

They will play Iceland on Tuesday.

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