Six Saudi citizens refused entry to Turkey, accused of Daesh connections
Six Saudi travelers were detained in the Istanbul airport for ten hours and denied entry to Turkey on accusations of having ties to Daesh. (Shutterstock)
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The Saudi Embassy in Turkey is investigating an incident after six Saudi citizens were detained at the Istanbul airport for 10 hours and denied entry to Turkey before voluntarily returning home to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
Upon arrival, the Saudi tourists said Turkish security authorities accused them of affiliation with Daesh.
Sultan Abdullah al-Harthi said he and five relatives were detained at the airport in Istanbul after arriving as part of a tourist trip on May 5. “Security authorities stopped us for routine inspection, and after completing procedures for five of us, they stopped us until a group of officers came and accused us of having links with Daesh,” he said. “We were surprised and they refused to give us any reason for these accusations, but continued to inquire about our professions as teachers, doctors and engineers.”
He said guards searched them thoroughly and photographed them. The guards forced them to sign two papers, the contents of which were in Turkish, and kept their wallets, phones and other possessions for 10 hours.
Eventually, they used the phone of another Arab to call officials at the embassy for help, who in turn directed them to other officials with no assistance forthcoming.
Al-Harthi said Turkish authorities forced them to pay about $3,200 for tickets for six people, as well as $130 extra in fees, in order for them to return to the Kingdom after banning them from entering Turkey.
He said the passengers filed a complaint with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs two weeks ago, but have yet to be contacted by any official.
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