türkçe links to original Turkish article
(HaberTürk Newspaper, 7 April 2016)
Hijacked to stardom.
listen to why we're fortunate he's still with us.
It is still unclear why hijacker Seyfettin Mustafa commandeered
the Egypt Air Alexandria-Cairo flight on 29 March and had it
diverted to southern Cyprus. But it is claimed that the Egyptian
hijacker committed the crime in order to see his ex-wife, who lives
in Greek Cyprus.
A Turkish youth did a similar thing 13 years ago. At that time,
19 year-old Özgür Gençaslan hijacked an Istanbul-Ankara THY
flight on 28 March 2003, with the aim of reaching his wife who
was living in Germany. Gençaslan used a 'bomb' made of candles
to hijack the plane and forced it, with 196 passengers, to land in
Seeing this mug, Erdoğan knew he'd saved a star.
When then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan persuaded
Gençaslan to surrender, the incident came to an end, with
Gençaslan spending the next four years in prisons in Greece and
Turkey. A regretful Gençaslan now says that he owes his life to
"They brought a cellphone to the cockpit and Mr. Erdoğan, now
the President, said to me 'live young man. You have many more
years to live. They're going to mount an operation. I don't want
you to die.' I said OK. We talked for 20 or 30 minutes. Thanks
to the President, I'm alive today. If he hadn't persuaded me to
surrender I would surely have been killed in the operation."
Gençaslan is a singer these days, with an album and video clips
to his name. His stage name is Özgür Özcan and he is appearing
on stage in Ankara. Before he left prison he split with the wife
for whom he hijacked the plane. Gençaslan had this to say in
summary: "after I left prison, I started all over from scratch."
Contemplating another hijack (NOT!)