Search

 

Cablegate: Hijacking of Turkish Airliner On April 10

VZCZCXRO3568
PP RUEHDA RUEHNP
DE RUEHAK #0862 1030459
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130459Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1708
INFO RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1856
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 2520
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7980
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6656
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 6630
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA 0266
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 5369
RUEHNP/AMCONSUL NAPLES 0013
RUEHBS/FAA BRUSSELS BE

UNCLAS ANKARA 000862

SIPDIS

FAA BRUSSELS FOR KURT EDWARDS
PARIS PLEASE PASS TSA FOR NOURI LARBI

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O.12356:N/A
TAGS: PTER EAIR ASEC CASC TU
SUBJECT: HIJACKING OF TURKISH AIRLINER ON APRIL 10

1. (U) On April 10, a Boeing 737 owned by private
Turkish airline Pegasus heading to Istanbul from
Diyarbakir was hijacked 25 minutes after takeoff.
The hijacker, Mehmet Goksingol, told crew members
he would explode a cell-phone activated bomb in a
package he had with him if the plane did not take
him to Iran. The crew helped the hijacker
communicate with the pilots without letting him
in the cockpit, and the pilots were able to
convince him that they did not have sufficient
fuel to take the plane to Iran.
(The cockpit door remained locked at all times.)
The hijacker agreed to stop in Ankara to refuel,
where he turned himself in to the police forces
that boarded the plane. According to press reports,
Goksingol told police he hijacked the plane
because he had a dream about a plane crash and
wanted to prevent this by hijacking the plane.
The press reported that Goksingol had a history
of mental problems and a sizeable criminal record.

2. (SBU) Deputy Director General for Civil Aviation
(DGCA) Haydar Yalcin, confirmed press reports on the
hijacking. He said the plane carried 178 passengers,
none of whom were American citizens. Yalcin told us
the incident was handled very professionally from the
start, with all parties involved taking the right
steps. He noted that the hijacker did not have any
material he was not allowed to carry on board,
including the explosives he claimed to have. Yalcin
added that the crew was also successful in not
opening the cockpit door, and convincing the hijacker
to land in Ankara. Yalcin said the passenger had a
criminal record, including narcotics crimes, and said
they believed he was under the influence of drugs at
the time he hijacked the plane.

3. (SBU) Our Turkish National Police (TNP) contacts
separately confirmed the course of events as reported
by the press. They added that the hijacker was
undergoing tests to determine if he used drugs before
hijacking the plane. They told us he had a criminal
record of nine arrests, none of which was for terrorist
crimes. Police do not believe the hijacker has any
affiliation with the terrorist organization PKK.

4. (SBU) Comment: Turkey has experienced similar
hijacking scenarios in recent years. Given that no
explosives or arms have been found on the hijackers,it
appears that GOT authorities have been doing a good
job in implementing security screening. Our
observation with regard to this last incident was
that it was handled professionally, and all related
agencies took timely and correct action to minimize risks.


WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Rights Office On Syria: The “Monstrous Annihilation” Of Eastern Ghouta

Since the Syrian Government and their allies escalated their offensive against opposition-held Eastern Ghouta on 4 February, there have been more than 1,200 civilian casualties, including at least 346 killed and 878 injured, mostly in airstrikes hitting residential areas... Ninety-two of these civilian deaths allegedly occurred in just one 13-hour period on Monday. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:

Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO: