Turkey’s social media went abuzz with rage after Icelandic officials kept the national soccer team waiting at passport control for three hours.
In the frustratingly long wait, a man later identified as a Belgian national, thrust a dish-scouring brush in players Emre Belozoglu’s face, causing great anger among the Turks.
Turkish soccer players complained that their bags were searched for a long time and creams were confiscated by airport authorities at passport controls.
“Extra search was made inside the airport, we were held for a long time. We were stressed. There was no need,” Belozoglu told media.
Turkish Ihlas News Agency reported that Icelandic authorities searched the national team’s bag repeatedly.
“We’ve been waiting for three hours. They take everyone’s bags, take their creams, check them over and over again. We flew 6.5 hours, we’ve been waiting three hours,” one of the players Burak Yilmaz explained his frustration.
Coach Senol Gunes and football players were observed very frustrated as the team moved from the airport to the hotel, Turkish Haberturk reported.
Turkish social media users demanded that Iceland identify the man who insulted Belozoglu with a toilet brush and the hashtag #TurksAreComingForIceland trended on Twitter in Turkey.
Many famous Turkish celebrities also rallied on social media to support the national team.
The Turkish National team traveled to Iceland after a surprise 2-0 victory over world champions France in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualification on Saturday. The Turks arrived at the Keflavik Airport late on Sunday to play a Euro 2020 qualifying group H match against Iceland on Tuesday night, 21:45 Turkish time.
Reuters reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a phone call to the head of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) Nihat Ozdemir, requesting him to convey a message of solidarity to the national team and coach Gunes.
Erdogan told Ozdemir that Turkish authorities took all the necessary actions in the case, Reuters reported.
Turkey leads the group with nine points from three wins.