Badatz Recalls Mashgichim From Turkey

YERUSHALAYIM -

After a mashgiach was almost lynched at the Istanbul airport, the Badatz Eidah Hachareidis in Yerushalayim has decided to discontinue operations in the country.

The incident took place when a group of Arabs noticed the mashgiach waiting for his flight at the airport in Istanbul. They gathered around him, shouting curses and threats.

He was rescued from the assailants by a staff member of Turkish Airlines, who took him quickly away to a more secure area behind the check-in counters.

Upon learning of the incident, the Eidah Hachareidis decided to recall all their representatives in Turkey and to cancel future assigments until further notice.

Meanwhile, the Israel Airports Authority said it had suspended any further movement toward renewing flights with Turkey until 2015, citing the risks to Israeli travelers and hostile comments made toward Israel in recent days by its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And on Monday, Turkey announced a three-day period of national mourning, starting on Tuesday, in a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

“The Israeli market to Turkey is about to shrink dramatically because of the situation. Security problems seem to me today to be a lot bigger than in the past, and so I’ve decided to suspend the matter,” said Giora Rom, IAA’s director.

Even before the IAA announcement, KTA International — which represents Turkish charter airlines in Israel — reported a wave of cancelled reservations. “The situation is awful. A wave of cancellations has started that we can’t even measure exactly for the long term … At this stage we’re dealing with cancellations for the coming week,” said CEO, Shai Pardo.