Hijackers of Turkish passenger plane surrender
Two men who hijacked a Turkish passenger plane to protest against the U.S. surrendered to authorities Saturday after holding some crew members and passengers hostage for more than four hours. No one was hurt.
The Turkish passenger plane was heading for Istanbul from northern Cyprus but was forced to land for refuelling in southern Turkey, the airline said.
Some passengers were freed after the plane landed in Antalya, Atlas Jet CEO Tuncay Doganer was quoted as saying by Reuters. Private broadcaster NTV reported that passengers had forced open the rear door of the plane and all the passengers had escaped.
The hijackers had stated they wanted the plane to go to Iran, Doganer told reporters. NTV quoted one witness as saying the hijackers had said they were members of al Qaeda and another as saying the hijackers spoke Arabic and said they wanted to go to Syria. A Turkish official said that the men were Iranian and were protesting against the United States.
There were 136 passengers on board the plane, which was flying from Ercan airport in Turkish-backed northern Cyprus to Istanbul when it was hijacked.