Stranded passengers stage protest at Istanbul Airport: 'We need hotel'

After more than 24 hours of flight cancellations, stranded passengers at Istanbul Airport have started to protest with the slogan of “We need hotel.” The riot police were dispatched to the airport.

Duvar English

Stranded passengers have staged a protest at Istanbul Airport, saying that although they have been waiting for hours at the airport, they have not been provided with any accommodation.

Several footages shared on social media showed tourists shouting the slogan of “We need hotel.”

Ali Kıdık, a member of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) City Council for the opposition İYİ (Good) Party, announced that airport authorities had asked for riot police to be dispatched.

On Jan. 24, Kıdık had also said that authorities had been distributing cardboards to passengers for them to sleep on.

Istanbul Airport was under a thick blanket of snow with runways and planes covered on Jan. 25.

Passengers have been saying that they are having problems with baggage, food and accommodation.

The airport's location has come to the foreground again as citizens have been pointing out that it is very far away from the city center, with an insufficient public transportation system to ensure the intra-city travel.

Critics also point out that the new airport's location makes it vulnerable to weather conditions, like fog, snow and wind, during the winter.

During the heavy snowfall, Atatürk Airport, which was closed to commercial flights in 2019, was the only airport open to air transportation.

Ironically, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu landed there on Jan. 25 to "take everything under control."