Iranian cargo plane searched in Turkey
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 3/16/2011 12:00:00 AM |
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that a cargo plane from Iran had been required to land in Southeast Turkey. (UPDATED)
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that a cargo plane from Iran had been required to land in Southeast Turkey.
“The checks are still continuing at Diyarbakır airport,” a Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. The official declined to elaborate further and only said the check could target both the plane’s documents and its shipment. The plane belongs to Iranian YAS transportation company.
An Iranian Embassy official in Ankara told the Daily News that the plane landed in Diyarbakır for refueling.
“The plane is now about to take off. There is no problem at all,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Doğan news agency, or DHA, reported that Turkish fighter jets forced the plane to land Tuesday night at Diyarbakır airport so it could be searched for an alleged cargo of weapons being shipped from Iran to Syria.
The Turkish ministry official said it is a routine procedure for some foreign cargo planes to request permission to fly over Turkey and sometimes be required to make unscheduled landings to be searched.
“This Iranian cargo plane received permission but even in this situation we can ask some planes to make an unscheduled landing for technical reasons,” the official said. “We have done this with other planes in the past.”
The Anatolia news agency said the plane was heading from Tehran to Aleppo.
DHA said the plane was asked to make an unscheduled landing based on tip-offs that it was carrying nuclear weapons. The ministry did not provide any information about the plane’s cargo.