None Survive Turkish
By SABRINA TAVERNISE
Published: December 1, 2007
ISTANBUL, Nov. 30 — A Turkish passenger
jet crashed in the mountains of western
Turkey early Friday, killing all 57
people on board, including several
prominent nuclear physicists on their
way to a conference, Turkish authorities
The plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83
operated by Atlasjet, an airline based
in Istanbul, took off from Istanbul and
disappeared from radar shortly before it
was due to land at the airport in
Isparta. It crashed about seven miles
from the airport, near the town of
Keciborlu, the authorities said. The
cause of the
crash was unclear. The weather was good,
airline officials said.
The plane crashed in an area that was
not on its scheduled route, according to
Semsettin Uzun, the governor of Isparta
Province. “We don’t understand how it
landed there,” he said.
The Associated Press quoted Ali Ariduru,
in charge of Turkey’s civil aviation
authority, as saying that there were no
signs that either terrorism or sabotage
had caused the crash.
The plane’s wings and engines were torn
off, and were found on top of the
highest peak in the area, which is about
6,000 feet high and has a communications
tower, said Ismail Macika, the mayor of
Keciborlu. The main fuselage came to
rest 500 feet below on the mountainside.
Mr. Uzun, the provincial governor, said,
“The body of the plane is there as a
whole and the wings don’t exist; I have
never seen anything like this.”
Authorities said that at 1:36 a.m., the
pilot told the tower he saw the runway,
and the tower told him to proceed, but
that was the plane’s last communication
with the ground.
Fifty passengers and seven crew members
were on board. The passengers included
nuclear physicists on their way to a
conference and an infant, according to
Turkish television. Engin Arik, a
prominent nuclear physics professor from
Bosporus University in Istanbul, was on
board, The A.P. reported.
Turkish television showed soldiers with
guns standing around the crash site.
Mahmut Kaya contributed reporting.