Turkish officials are twisting reality by claiming that the detention of Israeli passengers at Istanbul airport is related to the mistreatment of Turkish passengers at Ben Gurion Airport, Israel's Airport Authority director general said Monday evening.
"The attempt to tie security at Ben-Gurion Airport to the Israel-Turkey relationship does not reflect reality," Kobi Mor said.
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"The Airport Authority strongly rejects the attempts to tie security procedures undergone by the passengers at Ben Gurion Airport to the relationship between the two states," he said. "Security forces are doing their job day and night in safeguarding the planes and passengers, and there is no room for cynically exploiting their work."
"The fact that security officers cannot publicly respond to the hints and accusations leads to the distortion of reality," Mor charged. "Security officials at Ben-Gurion Airport operate in line with the instructiond of professional authorities and will continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety of passengers at the airport."
Earlier Monday, dozens of Israeli passengers on board a Turkish Airlines flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul were held for several hours by local police after their passports were taken away from them. Some of them said they underwent a humiliating investigation by local authorities before being released. Israelis who frequently make the trip told Ynet such incident was unprecedented.
Meanwhile, news agency Anatolya reported that Turkish tourists had encountered similar treatment at Ben-Gurion Airport. One of them said, "When we reached the airport in Tel Aviv on our way back to Turkey, security personnel took me and my friends aside and we waited there for a long time.
"They asked about our personal information, including email addresses, phone numbers, our family status and even the number of children we had. They checked our luggage multiple times and then conducted a physical search," he said.