A UFO reported over Gaziantep, a major city in southeastern Turkey, caused dozens of flights to be cancelled at the local airport.
According to Turkish news outlet Haberler, the incident took place at around 12:30 a.m. last Saturday when an unidentified flying object was detected by the cockpit crew of two passenger planes cruising at an altitude of about 9,200 feet. The pilots notified the Gaziantep Air Traffic Control Tower of their sighting, and the UFO was reportedly confirmed by air traffic controllers.
No additional details about the UFO, such as its behavior or appearance, have been made publicly available.
In total, 13 departures and 26 landings were cancelled, affecting hundreds of passengers, before regular activity resumed 12 hours later.
The Chief Directorate of Gaziantep Airport State Airports Authority (DHMI) said that a NOTAM (Notice to Airman)* has not been issued, and so far, authorities have not released an official statement regarding the incident.
The lack of details forthcoming about the report have led some observers to suspect that the event may have been a cover for something else.
“Do you have an official public statement about the details of this incident? Statements of pilots and air traffic controller? What are the [radar approach control system] records and satellite records?” asked one person on Twitter.
“It coincided with the arrival of the president. UFO fabrication is to avoid public repercussions. Because he came to this area yesterday,” commented another.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently favored to win an upcoming runoff election, despite a host of domestic issues that have plagued his administration.
*A NOTAM is a warning issued to inform flight operation officers about the existence of any hazards that might impact aircraft.