Israel admits 'routine' humiliation to Turkish citizens

Turkish air passengers complained Monday that they were harassed and intimidated Monday at Tel Aviv Airport and later Israeli air passengers made similar claims about their treatment in Istanbul.

Israel admits 'routine' humiliation to Turkish citizens

Israel admitted "routine" humiliation against Turkish citizens at airports after Turks returning from occupied Jerusalem complained of hostile treatment at airport.

Turkish air passengers complained Monday that they were harassed and intimidated Monday at Tel Aviv Airport and later Israeli air passengers made similar claims about their treatment in Istanbul.

Foreign ministry officials told an Israeli paper on Monday "that over the past year, there were dozens of complaints on the part of Turkish citizens who claimed they were humiliated by Israeli security personnel at Ben-Gurion airport."

The officials also told Haaretz "that almost every Turkish citizen who arrives at Ben-Gurion airport undergoes a routine procedure of extensive, humiliating examinations that also include undressing to one's underwear."

"Turkish citizens are always separated from the rest of the passengers at the airport," Foreign Ministry official told the report.

"When their luggage is thoroughly examined and they undergo extensive questioning they understand it comes from security needs, but when they get to the strip search part it breaks them and they are humiliated. Many Turkish businesspeople and tourists have complained about this in the past. This humiliation ceremony of Turkish citizens is a routine matter."

Reports of airport harassment first emanated from Turkey, where media reported that Turkish passengers on a Turkish Airlines flight said they were harassed at the security check-in in Israel before departing for Istanbul.

One Turkish passenger said, "we were subject to body search. They forced us to take off every clothes on us. They also searched Turkish women in those special rooms. Only Turkish tourists were subject to such a hostile treatment."

Later Monday, Israeli passengers on flights between Tel Aviv and Istanbul reported that Turkish security officials at Ataturk International Airport briefly took their passports and questioned them, a passenger and the Israeli Foreign Ministry said. At least one woman reported being strip searched.

Late last week, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador after Israel refused to apologize for a deadly military raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship that killed nine Turks last year. Israel expressed "regret" for the loss of lives.

Agencies

Last Mod: 05 Eylül 2011, 17:38
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