Generation Sipa :
Alors que Coşkun Aral s’apprête à couvrir le front irakien du conflit avec l’Iran, Son avion pour Ankara est détourné. une tragi-comédie qu’il photographie en direct. Turquie, 14 octobre 1980 © Coşkun Aral
October 14 1980
The Story of a Hijacking
Istanbul-Yesilköy Airport. I had got in from Iran the night before and was waiting for the 5 o’clock flight for Ankara. After covering the Iranian side of the conflict, Göksin wanted me to do the same in Iraq. But first I needed a visa. Airport lounge. Osman Arolat from Swedish radio is there, too, with his Nagra. I’m packing a Nikon F2 in my Domke photo bag. In the airplane, I take a seat in the aisle on the same row as Osman and an old lady.
Forty minutes later, no one is announcing our descent... Ten minutes later, still nothing... The passengers are worried. An hour and thirty minutes... I grab my F2 and wait. A man with a beard steps forward to make an announcement: “Allah be with you! Islam has taken control of this plane. We don’t want to hurt you. Our enemy is the military dictatorship in power since September. We will let you off in Tehran” —just my luck!— “and will continue on to Kabul to join the mujahideen fighting the Russians. Those who would join us are welcome. Islam is our guide! All women, cover their heads!” Passengers and hostesses comply using scarves, jackets and seat covers.
I take a few pictures on the sly. The hijackers keep moving through the cabin and my neighbor is afraid. I’m so anxious I can barely move... Then I turn to a restless young hijacker: “I’m a photographer. Do you mind if I take some pictures?” He refuses, annoyed. But a few minutes later, the man with the beard motions for me to follow him...
Read the full text of this article on the French version of Le Journal.
40 ans de photojournalisme - Génération Sipa
Michel Setboun and Sylvie Dauvillier
Layout: Grégory Bricout
© 2012, Éditions de La Martinière
239 pages – 39 euros