Turkish National Squad Disrespected
Traveling to Iceland for a Euro 2020 qualifier should have been a straightforward affair for the Turkish national team. But it turned into chaos and a bit of an international incident after the Turkish team have accused Icelandic officials of disrespecting them Bets.co.za reports today.
The Turkish team were held at the airport for three hours and had all of their bags searched before they were allowed into the country to place in the qualifying match against the Icelandic National team.
The Turkish captain felt particularly hassled as he had a dishwashing brush thrust in his face as he spoke to reporters outside the airport following the incident. “We were searched more than once which was unnecessary, and we were told to wait until now,” while the captain’s response was relatively measured, the vice-captain was much more angry in his response. “What they have done is disrespectful and rude,” speaking with Turkish reporters that were waiting outside he said. “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 six and a half hours, and we’ve waited for three hours.”
The Turkish team were on a high after having beaten the current World Cup champions France last weekend, and they flew into Keflavik airport on Monday ready for their next game. The national spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, spoke on behalf of the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, saying “The disrespect shown to our national team in Iceland is unacceptable and what is necessary will be done, our national team will give the best response on the field.” He spoke out on Twitter condemning the event in Iceland.
The complaint has been echoed by other officials within Turkey. The foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who speaks on behalf of the presidents ruling AK party as well as other officials, repeated the complaint saying that the treatment was disrespectful. The Turkish embassy in Iceland also sent, what was described as a ‘diplomatic note’ to the ruling Icelandic government again describing the incident as disrespectful to the Turkish team.
While so far no official comment has been made about the incident by the Icelandic government. The head of media and marketing for the Icelandic Football Association did state that this incident wasn’t particular to the Turkish team and that all people arriving in Iceland from what is described as ‘non-certified’ airports are required to undergo similar treatment.
He even went on to say that the Icelandic team had received exactly the same treatment five year’s ago when they flew to Turkey to play in an international there. The man with the dishwasher brush was shown on Turkish Television filming himself with a mobile device while using the impromptu ‘microphone’ to interview the Turkish captain. Turkish fans took to social media to decry the event and began posting pictures of the Icelandic flag, except they replaced the vertical bar of its red cross with a dishwasher brush. The hashtag #TurksAreComingForIceland started trending across Turkish twitter.