Turkish police apprehend Isparta plane crash convict in airport

Police at Istanbul Airport have apprehended fugitive Yavuz Çizmeci, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter as the aviation company co-owner in the 2007 plane crash that killed 57 people. Çizmeci was caught trying to board a domestic flight with a fake ID, having evaded authorities since 2015.

Police take Yavuz Çizmeci out of Istanbul Airport.

Duvar English

Turkish police at the Istanbul Airport on May 15 caught Yavuz Çizmeci, the fugitive aviation company co-owner convicted for the 2007 Isparta plane crash.

Airport police stopped a man displaying “erratic behavior” in the domestic terminal. The passenger was revealed to be Çizmeci, carrying a fake ID to board a domestic flight, according to reporting by the Demirören News Agency (DHA).

Police transferred Çizmeci to an Istanbul courthouse, where he was sent to prison to fulfill his sentence. 

An Atlasjet plane crashed on a rocky mountain shortly before it was due to land in the southern province of Isparta on Nov. 30, 2007, killing all 57 people on board.

After the crash, allegations that the plane might have been sabotaged came to the foreground as six nuclear physicists working on a project called the Turkish Accelerator Center Project were onboard the plane, en route to the academic conference at the Isparta Süleyman Demirel University. 

The Isparta 1st Heavy Penal Court launched the lawsuit in 2009 and handed out the sentences six years later in January 2015.

Of the 20 defendants tried in the case, eight received prison sentences from one to 11 years. Çizmeci, co-owner of the World Focus Airlines that rented out the aircraft to Atlasjet, was sentenced to 11 years and eight months in prison for “involuntary manslaughter.”