The Turkish government rejected a request by Arkia Israel Airlines for increased security at the Antalya Airport, Today’s Zaman reported.
Arkia, which is planning to offer four to six flights a week between June and October, sent a written request to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking for a flight-specific security area for all Israeli flights.
The Israeli airline also asked permission to oversee security provisions, use various X-ray devices, and receive private rooms to question suspicious passengers, the Turkish daily noted.
“Turkey does not possess any specific security areas at international airports. Why does Israel need to have a specific security area at Turkish airports?” Turkish diplomatic sources told Today’s Zaman.
The Turkish officials said that Israel will not be granted any form of increased security and that if it continues to insist on such, the Israeli airline will not be allowed to offer flights between Tel Aviv and Antalya.
Israel-Turkey relations have been tense since the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010, when a flotilla of ‘Palestinian’ supporters, claiming to be “human rights” activists, sought to breach an Israeli blockade, which was intended to prevent weapons smuggling and other violations of national security. In an operation of self-defense, Israeli commandoes raided the ship and the incident resulted in the death of nine politically militant, pro- ‘Palestinian,’ activists.