'Who wants to be a millionaire?' presenter Işık outraged after brief detention in Belgium
Stage actor Kenan Işık presents the Turkish version of 'Who wants to be a millionaire?' for more than ten years.Stage actor Kenan Işık, widely known as the presenter of the Turkish version of “Who wants to be a millionaire?” has reacted with anger after briefly being taken into custody while passing through customs in Brussels on May 10.
Işık, who was traveling to the Belgian capital to participate in a cultural event, abandoned his trademark calm and composed manners in exchange for livid outrage after the incident, accusing custom officers of showing discrimination toward Muslims.
“They wanted to see my reservation at a hotel, so I showed them. When they asked me after that where I would stay, I got angry and replied, ‘It’s not your business, maybe I will sleep in the streets.’ Then they took me into custody for half an hour,” Işık said, adding that the attitude of the officers was disrespectful and insulting.
“Legally, they don’t have such a right. They must have thought: ‘Let’s teach him a lesson, discredit him, and put him in his place. So that next time he comes, he doesn’t tell us to mind [our] own business.’ I hope the Belgian ambassador [to Turkey] will comment on it. It probably happened because [I am] a Muslim. They see Muslims as a terror threat,” Işık said.
Işık also noted that when teen cherub star Justin Bieber came to Istanbul for a concert, he passed Turkish customs without even showing his passport. “The Anatolian region taught us for a thousand years [to be at peace with other nations]. Why are the Belgian police trying to break my self-confidence? Perhaps because I have something that they do not have,” he said.
This is impertinence: EU minister
Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış slammed the Belgian officials’ attitude, adding that the Turkish Embassy in Brussels was closely following the case.
Bağış said the treatment would have been “impertinent” and “disrespectful” to any Turkish citizen, let alone Işık, whom he termed one of Turkey’s most important artists. “Such an attitude to any of our citizens cannot be seen as appropriate.”
For his part, Belgian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Joren Vandeweyer brushed aside the criticism, saying Işık could file a complaint if he saw fit.