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Three Israelis held in Turkish prison on harassment charges

The men, accused of sexually harassing a flight attendant, are being held in a jail near the Syrian border.

Illustrative. Photo by Julian Herzog
Illustrative. Photo by Julian Herzog

Three Israeli men have been held in a remote Turkish prison for over a week after a flight attendant accused them of sexual harassment, Hebrew media reported on Tuesday.

According to the family of one of the men, who was identified as David Shsoshkov, 30, from Sderot, six more Israelis were also arrested, but were released following several hours of questioning.

“There was a flight attendant on the plane who explained all the security measures… My brother filmed her with his cellphone, and he and eight other passengers laughed at her,” Shsoshkov’s sister Natali told Ynet. At the end of the preflight demonstration, the stewardess reportedly demanded Shsoshkov delete the recording, which he did.

“It seemed that everything was alright, but it wasn’t,” Natali explained. Upon landing in Istanbul, the nine Israelis were detained and charged with harassment.

While six of them were released the same day, Shsoshkov and two others were sent to a prison near the border with Syria. They were initially told they would be deported after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which ended on Saturday, but days passed and the men remained in Turkish custody.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed it was aware that nine Israeli citizens were arrested at Sabiha Gokcen Airport after the flight crew accused them of behaving “inappropriately and disturbingly during the flight.”

In a separate incident in Istanbul, an Israeli father and son were arrested on Tuesday after attempting to stop a plane by jumping from the passenger boarding bridge. Video footage shared on social media showed the two, who had reportedly missed their flight, leaping from a height of three meters (about 10 feet) before being apprehended by airport personnel.

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