Documentary to tell story of 2003 plane crash in Türkiye

Documentary to tell story of 2003 plane crash in Türkiye

Documentary to tell story of 2003 plane crash in Türkiye

A plane crash in 2003 that claimed the lives of 75 people, including Spanish peacekeeping troops returning from Afghanistan, and the efforts of the first local resident to reach the scene, have become the subject of a documentary in Spain.

The Spanish film crew, who came to the northern province of Trabzon’s Maçka district from Spain to film the documentary “Cajones Cerrados,” met with a local mosque imam, Sait Topçu, who was the first resident to help the survivors.

The crew filmed on Pilav Mountain, where the plane crashed, in the museum belonging to Topçu, where the tire of the crashed plane is exhibited, and in the mosque where he works.

On May 26, 2003, a YAK-42 type plane of Ukraine’s UmAir Airlines, carrying Spanish Peace Force soldiers serving in Afghanistan, crashed into Pilav Mountain in Maçka district due to excessive fog while trying to land at Trabzon Airport for refueling.

During the crash, 75 people, including 62 Spanish soldiers and 13 Ukrainian crew members, lost their lives.

The first person to reach the plane after the incident was Topçu, an imam who works in a mosque in a nearby neighborhood near the crash site. He was given the Order of Merit of Spain and was able to send the soldier’s belongings that he discovered at the crash site to his family in Spain.

Speaking to local media, Topçu said he gladly helped the Spanish documentary crew who came to the region to depict the plane crash and its aftermath with a documentary film 20 years after the crash.

“Some of the scenes of the documentary were shot in the mosque, Pilav Mountain and the museum where the tire of the plane is exhibited. It was extremely pleasing for us that humanitarian and Islamic dimensions of the incident were brought to the forefront,” Topçu added.