UPDATE: Knoxville teen returns home from Turkey

March 22, 2017: A Knoxville teenager has arrived home from a trip to Turkey after initially being barred from returning to the U.S.

UDPATE 11 p.m. Wednesday: A Knoxville teen who was denied re-entry to the U.S. earlier this week has arrived back home from a trip to Turkey. 

Sabrini Siddiqi posted on Facebook shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday that her 17-year-old daughter was home in Knoxville.

The teen was initially barred from returning to the U.S. with her family after the TSA said Turkish Airlines failed to provide the proper security information for her that is required for passengers traveling to the U.S. 

UPDATE 12:20 p.m. Wednesday: The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has confirmed to WBIR 10News that the Knoxville teen denied re-entry to the U.S. earlier this week from a trip to Turkey has been cleared to return. 

"TSA worked with the airline to obtain the necessary information and she was cleared to fly," TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz said.

Family confirms to 10News the teen and her family members who remained with her in Turkey are safely on the plane back to Atlanta.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Local and state leaders confirm they are in contact with a Knoxville family after a woman said her teenage daughter was denied re-entry to the U.S. from a recent trip to Turkey.

Sabrini Siddiqi said U.S. immigration officials denied her 17-year-old daughter, whom relatives say was born in Knoxville, re-entry to the U.S. at an Istanbul, Turkey airport.

The Transportation Security Administration pointed the blame at Turkish Airlines and claimed they didn't give the necessary security information for the teen to travel home.  

"International carriers are tasked with providing security information to the federal government before a passenger can fly into the United States. That did not happen in this case," TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz said in an emailed statement. 

On Sunday, Siddiqi wrote on Facebook: “In this new #America a citizen of our country can be unlawfully denied entry for no apparent reason other than border patrol would not clear her United States passport for entry.”

The post has been shared more than 700 times, as of early Monday afternoon. 

The offices of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, U.S. Senator Bob Corker and U.S. Rep. John Duncan told 10News they are in communication with Sabrina Siddiqi.

Relatives said the girl was born in Knoxville and currently attends Webb School of Knoxville.

Cathy Dowhos-O'Gorman, associate director of communications at Webb, wrote to 10News in a statement: “We are keeping Zubaidah and her family in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope for their speedy return. And we’re looking forward to welcoming Zubaidah back to campus. 

"I saw the Facebook posts about the Siddiqi family's situation, and I was concerned. I contacted the offices of Senators Alexander and Corker and Congressman Duncan, and they all responded promptly and promised to reach out to the Siddiqis. I have heard from Sabrina Siddiqi that she has heard from them, and she appreciates the support. We all hope she and her daughter are able to travel home soon,” Mayor Madeline Rogero wrote to 10News in a statement.

According to Siddiqi’s facebook post, the family booked a new flight for Wednesday and is hoping to be able to board their flight to Atlanta without incident.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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