Turkey: Suspected plan to hijack ferry thwarted

Police detained two men Saturday on suspicions that they were planning to hold up an Istanbul ferry to protest the fact that pro-Armenian slogans had been chanted at a slain journalist's funeral, police said Saturday. An Istanbul court ordered the two men released after questioning, saying there was not enough evidence to charge them. Acting on a tip, police detained the two men at the city's entrance Saturday, a police official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of rules that bar civil servants from speaking to reporters without prior authorization. Police said the two men - from the eastern city of Igdir, near the borders with Iran and Armenia - allegedly planned to hijack a ferry sailing between the Asian and European shores of the Bosporous, copying a ferry hijacking last month in the Dardanelles strait, police said. That hijacker had threatened to blow the ferry up in protesting the pro-American slogans. He had been carrying a gun, but no explosives, and after about 2 hours surrendered to police. No passengers were harmed.