6 January 2010 /TODAY’S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
News reports yesterday morning claiming that a plane had crashed into the sea just off the shore of Antalya’s Alanya district are false according to all preliminary investigations, officials say.
According to the Anatolia news agency, all the fuss began when computer programmer Tuna Akar (37) called the emergency 112 and 156 hotlines, claiming that while he was walking along the beach in Alanya he saw a plane on fire crash into the sea only three to four kilometers from the shore. Coast Guard vessels responded to the lead, searching for any evidence of a crash, and an ambulance was sent to the beach as a precautionary measure. The beach filled with tourists and residents straining to see any trace of wreckage in the water -- but neither Coast Guard officials nor anyone else was able to find any trace that a wreck had indeed occurred.
The State Airports Management General Directorate (DHMİ) issued a statement later in the day saying that they had scoured radar and watchtower data and so far found no evidence that any such crash had occurred. A similar statement came from the Antalya International Airport: “Our investigations have not yielded any evidence whatsoever that a plane crashed.” Speaking to reporters and locals gathered at the beach, Akar insisted that he had indeed seen a plane on fire crash into the water.