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3 Israelis detained in Turkey for allegedly harassing flight attendant: report

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Three Israelis have been detained in Turkey for over a week after allegedly harassing an attendant on a Pegasus Airlines flight to İstanbul, The Times of Israel online newspaper reported, citing a family member who spoke to Israeli media.

The three were among nine people detained when the flight landed. The other six were released after questioning.

According to the sister of one of the detainees — identified as David Shoshkov, 30, from the southern Israeli town of Sderot — he and his friends filmed the attendant and were laughing at her as she gave the preflight demonstration.

The attendant asked him to delete the footage, which he did, the sister Natali told the Israeli Ynet news website. “They assumed that everything was okay. But it was not.”

Upon landing the attendant called the police and told them the men had “sexually harassed” her. They were handcuffed and taken away.

Six of them were later released after questioning, and three, including Shoshkov, were sent to a detention center. The other two detainees were not identified.

Natali said the three had a hearing and were told they would be deported. However, they were sent to a detention center four hours outside of Istanbul.

She said they expected him to be sent home on a flight after the four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which began last Wednesday. “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.”

She said the family could not afford to hire a lawyer to help her brother.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was aware of the case and that the nine had been detained after complaints that they acted improperly with the attendant. The statement noted that three were still in custody, but did not say when they were expected to be released.

In December 2021, an Israeli couple was held in Turkey for a week on suspicion of espionage after visiting the newly opened Çamlıca Tower, İstanbul’s tallest building, from where they took a photo of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s home in Üsküdar.

The couple was released following intense diplomatic traffic between the two countries.

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