Since US President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Friday prohibiting immigrants and visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country, 58 people have been denied departure from İstanbul Atatürk Airport.
According to reports in the Turkish media, international passengers from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan have been denied direct and connecting flights from Atatürk Airport since Friday.
Syrian national Nail Zaino said he received his visa on Jan. 27, a day before Trump issued his executive order, and immediately booked a flight to the US via İstanbul to be reunited with his family in Los Angeles.
However, he was refused boarding on a flight to Los Angeles at İstanbul Atatürk Airport as an airline official told him that his visa was cancelled and rejected Zaino’s request for an official paper for visa cancellation. Zaino’s wife and son have lived in the US for last two years and are waiting to be reunited with him.
The state-run Anadolu news agency said 10 people were denied flights on Jan. 28, 42 on Jan. 29, four on Jan. 30, and two on Jan. 31.
Turkish Airlines (THY), which flies to nine destinations in the US, has also been negatively affected by the ban.
President Trump signed an executive order on Friday barring citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan from entering the country for 90 days and suspended the admission of all refugees for 120 days. The order indefinitely bans entry of those fleeing from war-torn Syria.
While many countries have lambasted the ban, tens of thousands of protesters flooded airports across the United States over the weekend, and tens of thousands of people held protests around the world after Trump signed the executive order.