Turkish, Israeli fliers singled out at airports
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Last Updated: Monday, September 05, 2011, 22:03
  
Jerusalem: Amid a deepening diplomatic crisis over the deadly flotilla raid, Israeli and Turkish passengers complained of being singled out, investigated individually and even strip searched at airports in Istanbul and Tel Aviv respectively.

The incidents, which appear to be tit for tat moves, added another ugly dimension to the deteriorating ties between the two countries after last year's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound ship that killed nine Turks.

A group of some 40 Israelis travelling on a Turkish airlines flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul claimed they were separated from the rest of the passengers and investigated at the Istanbul airport after claims of harassment were made by Turkish passengers at security check-in in Israel.

In what came as a shocking admittance, Israeli officials accepted that Turkish citizens visiting Israel were meted out humiliating treatment, with one official quoted by Haretz online as saying that "this humiliation ceremony of Turkish citizens is a routine matter".

The relations between the once close allies have nose dived over the raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last year.

Turkey last week expelled Israel's ambassador in Istanbul after Tel Aviv refused to apologise over the incident after a UN report found that Isreal defence forces used excessive force in dealing with the ship carrying relief to Gaza.

Passengers on a flight told Army Radio here that they were treated in a humiliating manner at the Istanbul airport.

"They made me undress to only my underwear. A woman officer did it, but she wasn't particularly gentle. It reminded me of stories my grandma told me of her past," Alina, one of the passengers recounted.

PTI


First Published: Monday, September 05, 2011, 22:03


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