ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey lodged a formal protest Monday against authorities in Iceland over the way its national soccer team was treated on its arrival for a European Championship qualifying match.
The Turkish team has complained that it was delayed at Keflavik Airport on Sunday while officials searched bags at a slow pace. Icelandic airport officials have defended the searches as routine and sought to blame the delay on some of the Turkish players for not being cooperative.
Frustration escalated once the team was through security, when an unidentified man held a cleaning brush up to team captain Emre Belezoglu who was speaking to media. Video footage shows the brush popping up toward Belezoglu’s face as if it was a microphone.
Turkish media have slammed the treatment as “disrespectful” and “racist” and the country’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said in a tweet it was “unacceptable from the point of diplomatic and humane practices.”
Iceland’s ministry of foreign affairs confirmed that a formal protest has been lodged.
The Turkish team flew to Iceland for Tuesday’s European…