Russian passengers recommended not to fly Turkish Airlines to avoid discrimination

Turkish Airlines discriminates against Russian passengers, ruins their trips

The Russian Embassy in Turkey recommended Russian citizens should think about flying Turkish Airlines after the company denied flights to Russian passengers on a number of occasions.

A message published by the press service of the Russian Embassy said that Russian citizens transiting Latin American countries through Istanbul were repeatedly denied boarding their flights. There were incidents reported when Turkish Airlines employees behaved inappropriately towards passengers with Russian passports, the embassy noted.

"There is a problem, a serious problem. It is not clear to us to which extent the Turkish authorities are aware of its seriousness. <…> The Russian Consulate General in Istanbul drew the airline's attention to the unhealthy situation,” the consulate said.

When refusing flights to Russians, airline employees reportedly referred to "strict rules of the host state for the admission of Russian citizens.” Russian travellers were asked to present their return tickets, cash, hotel reservations, as well as identification documents if tourism was not the purpose of the trip.

According to the Russian embassy, the Turkish Airlines published this information on its website in Turkish and English, but refused to publish it in Russian "for unknown reasons.”

The press service of the consulate noted that they would post recommendations for Russian citizens who may face discrimination at Turkish airports.

The consulate sent an official note to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, but did not receive a clear response.

On April 19, Turkish Airlines employees did not allow several Russians on board a plane en route to Cancun. The Russian travellers were flying to Mexico for a Madonna concert. One of the passengers said that during a stopover in Istanbul, he was told to stand in a separate queue because he had a Russian passport. Afterwards, airline employees canceled his boarding pass. The disrupted trip cost the man 430,000 rubles (about $4,600).

Turkish Airlines has not yet responded to the passenger's complaint.

Other Russians were not allowed to board the flight either. An eyewitness who was flying with his daughter said that airport and airline employees were unable to clearly explain the reasons for the refusal. They simply said "Russian No".

In early April, three Russian women were not allowed on board a Turkish Airlines flight to Cancun. Artur Muradyan, vice-president of the Association of Tour Operators said that the women were flying on vacation as part of a package tour. They had their return tickets and hotel reservations.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov