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Istanbul airport staff rough up Saudi family

JEDDAH: The Saudi Consulate in Istanbul has swung into action following reports that a Saudi woman and her teenage sons were assaulted by security men at Istanbul airport.
The consulate said it contacted the head of the family, who is now in the Kingdom, and asked him to lodge a formal complaint at the embassy so that it could take necessary action.
He said the men assaulted his family after his wife stood by mistake in an area assigned for the handicapped. The officer shouted something in Turkish at them. He then came out of his office, pushed the wife in front of her children and attacked her 14-year-old son. Later, three other employees came and attacked the son with verbal insults.
When she tried to defend him, another group came (thus raising the number of attackers to seven), kicked the wife and children, beat the eldest son and choked him until he was about to die, the father said.
He said they (the Turkish attackers) handcuffed his wife and children, separated him from the children, and after a long wait took them to the police center.
The husband said the authorities put pressure on him not to file a complaint. Family members were released only after the intervention of Saudi Embassy after one-and-a-half days of detention and humiliation.
He said he was not allowed to see his sons despite attempts by the manager of the Saudia Airlines at the airport.
He said they handed over his family at the foreigner deportation section of the airport as if they were criminals and not tourists.
“When I saw my sons, I found that they had been beaten up and insulted. I don’t know why all this hatred for the Saudis.”
However, Turki Taha, an adviser to the Turkish premier, denied that police had beaten the woman.
Taha explained on his Twitter account that he went to the airport where he met with officials and the director of the airport police and was shown a video of the incident.
He said when the family approached the officer, he explained to them that the counter was for the handicapped. But, he said, the 21-year-old Saudi man insisted their passports be stamped there, ignoring the officer’s instructions to go to another counter.
The Saudi Embassy in Turkey is also following up on the case.

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