Turkish mayor claims he was 'arbitrarily' detained at Ben-Gurion Airport

Government officials have stated that the mayor was not detained.

Ben-Gurion Airport's Terminal 3 arrivals hall (photo credit: GEORGEDEMENT/FLICKR-WIKIPEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS)
Ben-Gurion Airport's Terminal 3 arrivals hall
(photo credit: GEORGEDEMENT/FLICKR-WIKIPEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS)
Israeli government officials have denied Turkish media reports that a mayor in the Istanbul area and his family were detained at Ben-Gurion Airport last week.
Yasin Kartoğlu, mayor of Istanbul’s Basaksehir Municipality, was heading back to Istanbul following a trip to Jerusalem when he was detained at the airport for five hours along with his wife and children, he said.
The authorities did not reveal the reason behind their “arbitrary” detention, he said on Twitter.
“The most upsetting thing about this arbitrary detention, which I believe to be completely unlawful, was that my children were nervous about the situation,” Kartoğlu tweeted. “I condemn the unlawful approach of the Israeli authorities to me, my family and other citizens.”
The flight was delayed for reasons unrelated to Kartoğlu, the officials said.
The delay was security-related and not arbitrary, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
During his visit to Jerusalem, Kartoğlu tweeted a video of himself overlooking the Old City.
“Jerusalem belongs to all Muslims, not Palestinians. That is why Muslims should come to Jerusalem,” he said.

Despite his claims, government officials have said the mayor was not detained.
Relations between Turkey and Israel have been strained lately due to multiple factors, such as Turkey’s aggressive foreign policy in Syria and its vocal support of the Palestinians.
Tensions have been especially high recently due to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Israel signed an agreement with Greece and Cyprus that will allow an undersea natural-gas pipeline from Israel to Europe. Turkey, however, wants to assert its authority over the Eastern Mediterranean and signed an agreement with Libya last November to create a maritime link that in practice extends Turkish territorial waters to more than 200 km. beyond its shores.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.