LONDON – Scuffles broke out between Turkish police and hundreds of Algerians who have been stranded for several nights at Istanbul airport since Algeria suspended all international flights due to the new coronavirus outbreak.
Around 1,500 Algerians are awaiting their fate at the airport despite Algerian carrier Air Algerie’s announcement last Saturday of four flights to Istanbul to repatriate them.
Turkish Airlines is still waiting for an authorisation from the Algerian authorities to fly the stranded Algerians back home.
"There will be no flights to Algeria you must go to check with the embassy," an airport official addressed the crowd in Arabic.
"No traveller will return to Algeria even if they have an Algerian passport. The airport is closed, the Algerian authorities banned all flights from other countries," he added.
News website medyaturk.info reported Monday that Algeria refused to repatriate its citizens from Turkey.
Algeria repatriated only its citizens who checked in on Air Algerie flights, leaving those with other tickets stranded at Istanbul airport.
Air Algérie announced Monday via a post published on social networks the suspension of commercial traffic except cargo/freight.