Tuesday, October 03, 2006
It seems that any hijacking that invokes a Pope must be as bizarre as possible. Such was the case with the hijacking of a Dublin-London Aer Lingus flight in 1981 by former Trappist monk Laurence James Downey, who demanded that Pope John Paul II divulge to the world the Third Secret of Fatima. Earlier on today a Turkish military deserter and conscientious objector on the run in Albania hijacked a flight from Tirana to Istanbul in a rather unsubtle way of getting political asylum. The man in question Hakan Ekinci had previously written an open letter on the internet to Pope Benedict XVI asking for his help as Ekinci is a convert to Christianity. I'm sure that Herr Ratzinger, wearied after the furore caused by his casual quoting of a medieval Byzantine emperor's views on Islam, will have rolled his eyes to his boss up in heaven upon hearing the news. On board the flight, which landed without further incident at Brindisi in Italy, were a number of world-class beauty queens including Miss India, Miss Singapore, Miss Malaysia and Miss Philippines. All in Albania for a beauty contest, naturally. The BBC also quote an Albanian journalist on board, by the name of Ermir Hoxha. Any relation to the former dictator, I wonder?