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INTERNATIONAL > Turkish officials forced Syrian passengers to sign fake papers: Claim

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A Syrian passenger plane is seen after it was forced to land at Ankara airport on Oct 10. AFP photo

A Syrian passenger plane is seen after it was forced to land at Ankara airport on Oct 10. AFP photo

Passengers on a Syrian passenger plane that was grounded for several hours by Turkish authorities on Oct. 10 said they were forced to sign “fake papers” indicating that the aircraft had made an emergency landing.

The A-320 plane, traveling from Moscow to Damascus, was grounded by Turkish authorities on suspicions that it was carrying military equipment destined for Syria. When the plane was intercepted by Turkish authorities at around 6:30 p.m., it was carrying 37 people, including crew, daily Hürriyet reported on its website.

“Four people in the plane were beaten up [and] forced to sign the papers. Two of them were crew and the other two were passengers. We don’t know what the papers were about. We were worried about the situation of the captain. They took him away and they threatened him, saying he would be taken under custody if he didn’t sign the emergency landing documents,” one of the hostesses on the plane, Shirin Azis, told Russian TV channel RT.

One of the passengers, Fatima al-Saman, said the captain was forced to sign a document that claimed military aircraft had no role in the grounding of the plane and that the aircraft had been forced to make an emergency landing.

“They were going to take the captain hostage if we didn’t obey their conditions. They were threatening us. The captain told us that ‘I either have to sign that document that I made an emergency landing, or they will take me hostage,’” she said.

“They started to take down some of the luggage. They opened [the bags] up and took pictures. We all saw what was inside. There were no arms or whatseoever there.  There were only some auxilary equipment and papers, but there were no rockets. [The claims that there were weapons on board] are all lies.”

According to authorities, the plane was carrying 12 large parcels containing military communication devices.

Tensions between Turkey and Syria have been running high amid sporadic exchanges of fire along the border since Oct. 3, when a Syrian mortar killed five in the Turkish border town of Akçakale.

October/11/2012

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

Raymond Zak

10/11/2012 10:17:40 PM

theanatolian: Do you mean "functional democracy " in turkey ? You must be kidding. Ask those who live in Anatolia, they will explane more about functionning democracy down there. Ty for your comments !!

US Observer

10/11/2012 9:04:28 PM

I'm no fan of the AKP but I'm not buying any of this signing ake papers business.

US Observer

10/11/2012 8:50:36 PM

@ Yannis, your government is incompetent. Anything you opine on Turkey is clearly non objective so must be taken with a grain of assault. As far as Russia...who cares if they get mad? They don't have any right to fly weapons or ammunition over Turkey's airspace, they can pack sand!

Yannis Marangos

10/11/2012 6:21:40 PM

Amazing! Having read the Greek news today I thought our government was incompetent. Now that I read about you too, yours is not much wiser either! Did anyone think how Russia will react or do you really think, after watching the changes in the Ukraine and Georgia, that the guys are not on top of their game! Unfortunately Turkie, it looks like the US is using you as a punching dummy!

Thracian Anatolian

10/11/2012 6:12:02 PM

raymond zak, I am sure the world has more amusing things to laugh at. Why don't we all laugh at people who prefer to believe the lies of a corrupt dictatorship who is killing its own people rather than a functioning democracy? I think it has better entertainment value.

Raymond Zak

10/11/2012 5:36:03 PM

What we see here Turkey still living in 19th century. The methods Turkey is using is old and rusty. This is 21th century now, you cannot make sign fake papers by force to civilized people ? What a shame self declaired " Europian Turkish" modern government. The world is laughing...

Murat

10/11/2012 4:13:03 PM

Ah, Russian TV, that old reliable fountain of good information... there was a time Russian heavy transports flew high over Ankara to fuel ME wars and supply their favorite dictators. All Turks could do was watch on the radars. No more.

KıbrıslıTürk

10/11/2012 4:05:50 PM

Quality of journalism in Turkey is non existence.

KıbrıslıTürk

10/11/2012 4:03:26 PM

If you believe this story you believe anything.

Thracian Anatolian

10/11/2012 3:16:39 PM

I understand that you want to put an intriguing title, but this one sounds as if this is a headline from a pro-Assad paper.
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