Airliner Scare Over Turkey

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From what we can make of a Turkish news report, warplanes from that country were scrambled to force down a German airliner that passed over on its way from Egypt to Munich -- but they apparently failed to intercept it. According to a somewhat sketchy translation of the Zaman Daily News, the A321 (airline unknown) reportedly crossed over Turkey without contact with air traffic control. The fighters were scrambled but, for reasons yet unexplained, didn't find the airliner. The news service quoted unnamed government sources describing the operation as a "fiasco." The news service said the airline was over Turkish territory for about 50 minutes and passed over both Ankara and Istanbul where contact with ATC is mandatory. It's speculated that the pilots were simply on the wrong frequency but authorities didn't know that at the time. "What worries us is that it is impossible to know the intention of the aircraft," a government official told the news service, on condition of anonymity. "If the pilot is malicious, if he changes the direction of flight and plunges; then the war plane shoots it down."