British newlyweds on honeymoon denied US entry

The couple were detained at LAX for 26 hours.
The couple were detained at LAX for 26 hours. Photo credit: Getty

A British newlywed couple's honeymoon to the United States was ruined when they were deported because the groom was Muslim.

Natasha Politakis, 29 and husband Ali Gul, 32, spent NZ $12,000 for their dream two-week trip to Los Angeles, Hawaii and Las Vegas.

The couple had to spend 26 hours sitting in LAX airport in Los Angeles before being refused entry and flown back to the UK.

While being detained they were refused showers and had all of their possessions confiscated. They were only given back their phones when they were back in Britain.

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

The couple weren't told exactly why they were denied entry but Ms Politakis believes it was because of Mr Gul's Turkish name and heritage. Mr Gul is British, he holds a British passport.

Ms Politakis and Mr Gul had a big church wedding two weeks before their trip to the US.
Ms Politakis and Mr Gul had a big church wedding two weeks before their trip to the US. Photo credit: SWNS

"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 okay 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 North London held two weddings before their honeymoon to the US, a registrar wedding for Ali's Turkish family, and a church wedding two weeks before their trip.

They were only able to bring back stamps that said they were 'refused in accordance with INA section 217' as souvenirs from their honeymoon.

If they wish to make a complaint, the couple will need to contact the US embassy, but so far have struggled to book an appointment.

The couple are in the process of getting their money back through insurance and in the meantime were able to book a last-minute trip to Mexico.

"All we want is answers as to why our entire trip was ruined," Ms Politakis said.