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Three Israelis Held in Turkish Jail For More Than a Week After Filming Flight Attendant During Safety Demo

Three Israelis Held in Turkish Jail For More Than a Week After Filming Flight Attendant During Safety Demo

a white airplane on a runway

Three Israeli citizens have reportedly been held in a Turkish jail for more than a week after they allegedly sexually harassed a flight attendant on a Pegasus Airlines flight to Istanbul.

Family members of the three men have decided to go public with the story because attempts to get them released have so far failed, and they say they cannot afford expensive legal fees.

The incident apparently started when the group of young Israeli men started to film a female flight attendant and laughed at her as she took part in the pre-flight safety demonstration.

Relatives of the men say the flight attendant approached and asked the suspects to delete the video, which they did, and they thought that was the end of the matter.

On arrival in Istanbul, however, everyone was told to remain seated while police boarded the aircraft and the group of men were removed. The flight attendant allegedly told police that she had been sexually harassed, and another passenger apparently backed up her account.

Six of the nine men were released after several hours of being held and interrogated in a Turkish police station, while three others were transferred to a detention centre where they have remained ever since.

“On the plane, we felt that she didn’t like Israelis,” one of the six men who were released by Turkish police told Israeli media on Tuesday. “Then my cousin took a video of her giving the safety instructions before takeoff. She approached him and he deleted the video from the phone.”

The detention centre where the three other men are being held is reportedly close to the border with Syria.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said it was aware of the case but could not say when the men might be released.

After Israel and the United Arab Emirates formalised full diplomatic relations in 2020, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was concerned that his fellow countrymen would ‘misbehave’ on visits to the UAE.

Government officials have encouraged Israelis to educate themselves on key cultural differences before flying to popular destinations like Dubai to avoid any embarrassing diplomatic incidents.

View Comment (1)
  • Title is deceptive. How about “Israelis in jail after using online check in”?

    Maybe “Israelis in Turkish jail allegedly for sexual harassment of flight attendant, which they deny”

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