On Thursday, the Turkish embassy in Algeria confirmed that sponsorship of Algerians stranded in Istanbul airport had started.
In a statement, the embassy explained that the stranded Algerian nationals were transferred to university neighborhoods, to an area called “Karabük” which is about four hours by bus from Istanbul, adding that they will be accommodated until the time they return to their homeland.
The Turkish authorities transferred the stranded travelers at Istanbul International Airport to hotels a week after they were stuck at the airport in the hope of being deported to Algeria.
Several hundreds of Algerians (1050 according to some media outlets) have been stranded for several days at Istanbul airport in Turkey, since services between Algiers and Istanbul by Air Algerie and Turkish Airlines were stopped.
So far, the Algerian authorities have been slow to repatriate passengers stranded in the international zone of Istanbul airport, despite several calls for help from travelers via social networks.
On Tuesday evening, the Turkish embassy in Algiers first reacted about the woeful fate of these travelers to explain the situation.
It assured that this logjam is due to “the precautions taken by the Algerian government to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and working to obtain the required authorization from the Algerian authorities that will allow Algerian citizens to return to their country,” said a statement from the embassy.
The Turkish authorities maintain that they are “doing their best to alleviate the difficulties faced by our Algerian brothers and sisters stranded at Istanbul airport”. “The Turkish authorities are providing daily subsistence and basic necessities,” the statement added.
“We call on our Algerian brothers and sisters to show restraint and act in accordance with the instructions of the authorities while waiting for the necessary authorizations for the repatriation of Algerian citizens to Algeria,” the statement said.
Several incidents causing injuries have been reported on social networks in the last few days at Istanbul airport, where Turkish security forces harshly intervened.