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40 Israelis detained, questioned in Istanbul airport

September 5, 2011 11:25

Travelers to Turkey detained for more than an hour upon landing in Istanbul; B-G airport security deny special treatment for Turks.

Turkish flag [illustrative]

Turkish flag 311 (R). (photo credit:Osman Orsal / Reuters)

Forty Israelis passengers were detained for questioning by Turkish police in Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on Monday morning.

The Israelis had their passports confiscated after landing on a Turkish Airlines flight from Tel Aviv on Monday morning. They were questioned for more than an hour and subsequently released.

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The Foreign Ministry was investigating the incident and has been in contact with Turkey to find out if it came about as the result of a new directive or if it was a local initiative by airport authorities, a spokesman stated.

The spokesman added that an incident of this nature has never previously been known to occur to Israeli travelers in Turkey.

The Foreign Ministry was also in contact with the Israelis who were detained, in attempts to find out exactly what they were asked by Turkish authorities at the airport.

Israel planned to keep a close eye on additional flights from Israel to Turkey throughout the day to determine if anything out of the ordinary occurs.

Meanwhile, Turkish media was reporting a similar incident in Ben Gurion International Airport, with Turkish passengers being separated out from other travelers and undergoing strip searches.

"They searched our bodies for explosives for several times," one Turkish passenger told Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.

Ben Gurion airport police, however, said it had no record of any Turkish citizens being arrested or undergoing special security searches.

The Israel Airports Authority, which has its own security system, told The Jerusalem Post, "Security at the airport works according to the security needs, and according to instructions from the professional authorities." staff contributed to this report.
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