Couple detained on honeymoon ‘because the groom is Muslim’

Couple detained on honeymoon ‘because the groom is Muslim’
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:42:35

A newlywed couple’s honeymoon was ruined after they were detained in a US airport for 26 hours and then deported, apparently because the groom was Muslim.

Natasha Politakis, 29, and her new husband Ali Gul, 32, paid £7,000 for their dream two-week trip to LA, Hawaii and Las Vegas – and were naturally really looking forward to it.

But they ended up having to spend more than a day in LAX airport in Los Angeles, before being refused entry entirely and flown back to the UK.

While in the detention centre, they were refused a shower and had all of their possessions confiscated. They were only given their phones back when they were back on British soil.

When they tried to find out why they were detained, officials handcuffed them and marched them onto a flight back to London.

Although they were never told why they were denied entry, Natasha suspects it was because of her husband’s Turkish name and origin. Ali is British, however, and holds a British passport.


‘I am in utter shock that this has happened,’ she said. ‘We had just got married, we were on our way to our honeymoon as excited as anything, and never expected that we would be deported.

‘We were treated like criminals and we had all the relevant documentation and answered all their questions.

‘It’s not OK to treat people like that. As far as we knew before we left everything was fine, but as soon as we got there they wouldn’t let us in.

‘We believe that since Trump was elected, they took one look at his name, thought he was Muslim and didn’t let him in.’

The couple, from Enfield in North London, had two weddings earlier this year – a registrar wedding in April for Ali’s Turkish family, and then a big church wedding with a reception at the Mariott on May 6.

Two weeks later they set off for their honeymoon.

However, the only souvenirs they’ve brought back are stamps in their passports stating that they were ‘refused in accordance with INA section 217’, and a £7,000 hole in their pockets.

They’ve now been told that if they wish to complain they need to contact the US embassy, but they’ve struggled to get an appointment.

The couple managed to book a last-minute holiday to Mexico instead, and are now in the process of trying to get their money back from their insurance.

‘All we want is answers as to why our entire trip was ruined,’ Natasha said.