Three Passengers Jailed in Turkey After Filming During Safety Demo

by Anthony Losanno
Turkish Prison

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Nine men were arrested after a recent Pegasus Airlines flight landed in Istanbul. Laughing at and filming a flight attendant doing her safety demonstration led to complaints of sexual harassment and the group to be detained. One week later, three remain jailed.

Pegasus Plane

(Image Credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Before takeoff the group of young, Israeli men were laughing and one reportedly took a video of a flight attendant giving safety instructions before takeoff. She asked him to delete the video and he complied. The group thought the incident was over. When the plane landed at Istanbul Airport (IST), however, passengers were advised to remain seated while law enforcement boarded the plane and removed the nine men.

Six were questioned and released, but three are being held in a remote detention center near the Syrian border. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said they were aware of the incident, but could not say when the men would be released.

The sister of one of the jailed men has said:

We waited and expected him home on Monday, but the time came and he was not flown home. The consulate told us to wait patiently and not anger the Turks.”

Earlier today, I shared a story of a flight attendant telling a passenger not to film her on a Southwest Airlines flight (more here). There is generally no law against filming people in public places, but airlines have their own contracts of carriage. These are the rules surrounding the ticket you purchased. Some of these forbid filming crew, facilities, and aircraft).

When traveling internationally, it’s important to brush up on customs, laws, and what is generally acceptable to not have a run-in with the law. Hopefully, this situation is resolved soon and the three men will be able to return home.

Anthony’s Take: When traveling to another country, I always look at laws, customs, and if there is anything else to keep in mind. Do I think these guys were laughing and having a good time? Absolutely. Do I think three of them should be jailed? To be determined. I’d like to hear the whole story as this sounds like it could be the flight attendant overreacting, but without seeing everything it’s hard to say if that’s true.

(H/T: View from the Wing & Paddle Your Own Kanoo.)

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Christian July 5, 2023 - 1:24 am

While this could simply be a miscarriage of justice where some poor schmucks got thrown in jail for filming a FA doing a safety instruction that just doesn’t feel right. Would the Turkish government really keep these guys in jail for nothing more than what they’re saying? I feel there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye.

H. May July 5, 2023 - 11:37 am

Major US air carriers also prohibit the filming of crew members and passengers on board aircraft, and there could be consequences for doing so. Furthermore, the safety demonstration is an important aspect of every flight and should not be ignored or interrupted by those who choose not to listen. It’s ironic that recent video of an inflight decompression showed passengers wearing their oxygen masks improperly – a mistake that could have cost them their lives. Smart passengers show the proper respect and attention when they are being given information vital to their survival.


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