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BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

Denver, Colorado
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BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

I was assaulted by security apes at the Antalya airport. I tried to make a complaint there but was told they didn't care - I should just go home and forget about it or I would miss my flight. A direct threat. I was surrounded by 8 thugs at one point. This was about my wristwatch, of all things. My wristwatch is not a bomb.

I am 63 years old and I don't think I look like a "terrorist". I am Italian-American. I have never, in all my years of travel, had an incident where some idiot physically manhandled me.

It makes me think that no matter how nice Antalya is I should NEVER return.

Security people at Antalya do not understand their job. They are incompetent and overly aggressive without making people safer.

I was returning to Kyiv so I had on my winter coat. I placed it in a bin and emptied my pockets. I stepped to the screening machine and waited for permission to step through. I was waved through, but then they said I had to remove my watch. It is a thin little Swiss watch and has never set off the screening machine anywhere in more than 100 security screenings the last few years. I have worn it through security in Denver (where I live) Chicago, New York, San Francisco (I was there for the America's Cup in September), Zurich (my daughter lives there), Munich, Frankfort, Dusseldorf, Rome, Kyiv, etc etc. I travel 2 months or more every year and no-one has ever had a problem with my wristwatch.

I was manhandled - grabbed roughly by both upper arms and forced to the side. If there had been a wall I am sure I would have been thrown against it. I was kept from moving by 2 hooligans in my face who threatened me with more physical brutality. They were screaming at me and pointing at my wristwatch. They tried to remove it from my arm. I was forced to step back to get away from the pawing of these two barbarians. I took the watch off and walked away and around and went back to the line and asked for my things that had already gone through the machine. They brought the tub back and I placed my watch in there with my coat and it was sent through, again, and this time I was waved through - but was being "scolded" the whole time by 3 of these idiots.

My coat had an open liter of iced tea in the pocket (big pockets meant for gloves, hat, scarf, etc.). Nobody said anything about the brown liquid. Funny, huh ? Went right through - TWICE !!! The tea could have been benzine, napalm or God knows what - I had forgotten it was in my coat pocket until I picked it up from the bin and realized the weight. They completely missed a potential danger in favor of assaulting and harassing a senior citizen over his wristwatch. COMPLETE INCOMPETENCE.

I went to find the security office and a supervisor. No-one would help me. They thought it was funny. I saw someone in an office on the other side of passport control so I went over there. I was immediately surrounded by 8 more hooligans who threatened to detain me until I missed my flight. I insisted I wanted to make a complaint. They got someone on the phone and told me it was a supervisor. At least they could speak English but, for all I know, it was one of their cousins. He told me to just forget about it and go home. Otherwise I would have to go back out through security and take a taxi 2km to a police station to make a complaint. I replied that my flight would be boarding soon and that it was impractical to do as he said. He laughed and asked if I wanted to miss my flight. Another threat.

After the incident another passenger, a German woman who had seen what happened to me, told me she had been assaulted last year (the security man touched her breasts) and she tried to make a complaint. They detained her and she missed her flight. She had to pay EU 400 for a new flight plus a hotel until the next day. Horrible, yes ? She had written out a complaint and then they told her she must pay EU 100 to have it translated to Turkish. When she wouldn't pay, they tore up her complaint and threw it in the garbage.

Do you really want to spend your money in Turkey ?

David Cerullo

London
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for Gumbet, Bitez
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1. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

Well it sounds as if you had a truly awful experience at the airport and I can understand how it put you off travelling there again, although the attitude of the staff there really doesn't represent the majority of people in Turkey.

I have never been to Antalya but I have travelled through many Turkish airports over 20 years and have never experienced anything like that before.

I am sure there must still be a way to complain and hopefully someone on here will be able to advise you on that.

Antalya, Turkey
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for Antalya
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2. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

My friends, family and myself pass through Antalya airport many times a year and have done for some time and never have any of us experienced anything like this. Not even at silly o'clock in the early hours with several delayed flight loads of passengers being processed.

I witnessed the usual Turkish good humour recently when the security guys were patiently processing a large group of inebriated tourists who had forgotten every item in their pockets, watches etc. It took time but never was intimidation used.

Wondering if this post is "real" or a grudge against the airport. If the OP needs to contact the airport authorities they can be contacted through the website. I have always got a reply by return often a phone call.

Denver, Colorado
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3. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

Of course I understand that many passengers must pass through trouble free - as I have through dozens of airports in my 63 years. It is a pity as I had a wonderful time in Kemer and experienced very friendly people and excellent service at the Fame Residence. It is one of those things that defies logic, but it did happen, and my e-maiIs to authorities and even govt deputies have gone unanswered. Not one response from anyone in a week.

If you check my other reviews you will see that I am, generally, a very positive person.

Edited: 10:12 am, November 30, 2013
Istanbul, Turkey
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4. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

So what would have happened if I had tried to go through an American airport control and refused to obey the security officer?Probably about the same if not worse.U.S. security are not known for being polite either these days.

If you had just taken off your watch and done as you were asked to none of this would have happened,but for some reason you had to make a point about your thin watch-and that was the result.

So no,not barbarians,just people doing their job in difficult days.

Kadikale, Turkey
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for Turgutreis
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5. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

I'm very disappointed, I thought this was going to be a thread about meeting with the rugby union squad.

Selcuk, Turkey
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6. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

I was hoping this thread was going to be about the Rugby Union team playing in Turkey. That would be fun to see. However...

I have always found Turkish security people to be far more pleasant than those at London airports, for example. Like the OP I never take off my watch, or my belt, unless it becomes necessary and the machine "bleeps". Of course I remove them if asked.

My only experience of US officials was at JFK when I left New York on the day the "liquid bombers" had been thwarted by London police, leading to considerable delays. The US official responsible for keeping us waiting was extremely polite, and very clever at keeping us informed and calm. I waited while everyone else boarded our plane and went to thank him personally. Now I wish I'd asked his name.

Antalya, Turkey
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for Antalya
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7. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

Suehami - my original thoughts were the same as you! ! Quite disappointed to find it was nothing to do with rugby ;-)

Denver, Colorado
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8. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

Their job is to make flying safer. Yes or no ? What do you think someone could have done with 2/3 of a liter of flammable liquid on a 737 ? Maybe with a few paper towels in the bathroom. In your mindless rush to defend "the authorities" you have missed the point completely.

They are incompetent and clearly do not understand the purpose of security and their own job.

But let's not criticize the authorities. They are ALWAYS right, yes ?

Even when they miss a potential threat in favor of harassing a senior citizen over a wristwatch.

OK, it was only iced tea but their job was to catch the liquid. Which they missed trwice !

The big yellow cap was sticking right out of my coat pocket !

I had no reason to think that I should have removed my watch. Just like I had no reason to think I should remove my pants - I've never had to do it before. I fly a dozen times a year. You were not there so you really know nothing. I had been waved through by one agent. As I was about to step into the scanner, the other agent pointed and said: "Your watch." I replied: "It's OK, it won't set off the machine." He grabbed me at that point - what did I do wrong ? I'm 63 and never had a problem like this, but, of course, it is all my fault.

Half the security checks I go through have you remove your shoes. I don't think a flight where I don't remove my shoes is more of a risk, but I remove my shoes if I see that is the protocol at that particular airport. I had no advance warning about my watch. I was just trying to get to my plane - no more, no less.

By your thinking, the Grandmother obliterated to smithereens in a drone strike should not have been picking okra in her own garden. Her own fault. Peaceful protesters who get gassed and clubbed - wouldn't have happened if they hadn't protested, right ?

So ... one day when you get abused by authorities BITE YOUR TONGUE - "THEY" ARE ALWAYS RIGHT - CITIZENS ARE ALWAYS WRONG.

Edited: 4:03 pm, November 30, 2013
Antalya, Turkey
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9. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

Quite common to be asked to remove a watch as well as belt and any other metallic objects including loose change in pockets, hair clasps etc. Shoes often have metal in the soles plus explosive devices have been discovered in shoes.

Actually I'm getting more and more annoyed with this thread. You were asked to remove your watch for security reasons by airport security staff but got annoyed when they reacted to you refusing. You "don't look like a terrorist" - tell me what do they look like???

Denver, Colorado
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10. Re: BARBARIANS at Antalya airport

Actually, I had a great time in Kemer and the staff at the Fame Residence could not have been more attentive. Kemer is a beautiful little town. I was already planning to return next Spring on invitation from Mustafa - the assistant manager.

What it did was make me realize how vulnerable I can be.

The real issue - there can always be one or two bad apples - is that they were so callous when I tried to make a complaint.

My feeling is that if this had happened in the States or Western Europe, someone would have listened to my complaint and, possibly, taken it seriously. So I've made my complaint here.

These people - and there were about 8 or 10 of them I spoke with - did not care. They laughed at me. They knew I had a flight to catch and could do nothing, really. The guy on the phone, whoever he was, actually told me he did not care.