By Tugcenur Yilmaz
ANKARA (AA) – In a phone call, top diplomats from Turkey and Iceland on Tuesday discussed the mistreatment of Turkish football players who arrived in the country by plane last weekend, according to diplomatic sources.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, told Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, his Icelandic counterpart, that the mistreatment of the Turkish national team at the airport was “unacceptable,” said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Members of the team said when they arrived Sunday at Keflavik International Airport for a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match, airport security kept them waiting for three hours and subjected their personal belongings to an invasive search.
As an official request for a fast-track security check for the footballers was made on May 16 through diplomatic channels and repeated on June 6, the players should have been processed quickly through the gate, Turkish diplomatic sources earlier told Anadolu Agency.
In addition to Cavusoglu, the incident has drawn condemnation from Turkey’s presidential office as well as party leaders.
Turkey’s team will face Iceland in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers on Tuesday at Laugardalsvollur Stadium, with the game kicking off at 1945GMT.
* Writing by Nilay Kar Onum