The Gambian Embassy in Turkey, is coming under strong criticism after it failed to help families and concerned parties, who have been desperately trying to locate a Gambian student grandaunt, who is among the travelers entrapped at an Istanbul airport, following Tuesday’s terrorist attack, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal.
Ms. Anna Mendy, recently graduated from India. She was on her way back home to The Gambia, when her flight got delayed in Turkey during the weekend. She was said to have lost her passport upon arrival in Turkey, on Sunday, hours before the terrorist attack. She was not allowed to proceed with her journey since she doesn’t have a valid passport. She was held in Turkey, while her family frantically tried to reach The Gambian mission in Ankara for assistance, but to the family’s surprise no one was available to come to their aid. The Gambian Consul General in Istanbul, was also indisposed when the panic stricken concerned family members attempted to reach him on the phone for assistance.
The family was trying to see if the Gambian mission in Ankara, could help process an emergency passport for Anna Mendy, but none of the officials at the Chancery were available at the material time. The family even had to contact the Gambian Embassy in India, to issue Ms. Mendy with an emergency passport, said a caller from the United Kingdom, who contacted the Freedom Newspaper on Tuesday, to expose Ms. Mendy’s story. The caller registered his utter disappointment with The Gambian officials posted in Ankara.
“The terrorist attack in Turkey, found Anna Mendy at the airport. The family is very confused at this hour. We do not have information about her exact whereabouts at this hour. We have made frantic efforts to seek assistance from The Gambian embassy in Turkey, but to no avail. We will be very grateful, if you can use your medium to highlight Anna’s story. She just graduated from India. She was flying home, when she got stuck in Turkey,” said the caller.
“We were able to get hold of one Mr. Njie, but at the end of the day, there was no help from the Embassy in Turkey. The Gambian Embassy in India had to issue her an emergency passport,” he added.
Another Freedom Radio Gambia caller from Sweden, said, he once lives in Ankara. He recalled an incident in which a Gambian man, was detained at the airport by the Turkish security agents. He said the detainee receives no support from the Consul General.
“When the Consul General in Istanbul, was contacted, he said doesn’t have time. The incident occurred in October of 2011. One Kemo Saidy, a migrant in Istanbul, had to come to the man’s aid. Mr. Saidy, has been very supportive to The Gambian community in Turkey,” he said.
The Gambian Embassy in Ankara could not be reached for immediate comment. The Consul General in Istanbul was also indisposed for comment. The Consul General is a Turkish national, our source said.