ISTANBUL, Turkey, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- As concern mounts in Europe over purported CIA "rendition" flights, Turkish media reports that the CIA has used Turkish airfields.
Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said that a CIA aircraft had "put down" at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport.
Yildirim said, "There was a landing requested for technical reasons. Its landing was authorized. It was not carrying any passengers -- only equipment was on board. It filled its tanks with fuel and continued in its way," Anadolu Ajansi news agency reported.
In an earlier report, Hurriyet wrote that the aircraft was a DeHavilland Dash 8-315B, registered to Path Corporation, which landed at Sabiha Gokcen on Nov. 15 and departed the following day for Amsterdam.
The Turkish media is also reporting that on March 7 a Path Corporation Learjet with the registration N221SG landed in Istanbul and picked up some prisoners handed over to the CIA by Turkish security forces. The aircraft subsequently flew to Copenhagen before departing to Keflavik, Iceland, and Stephenville, Newfoundland, after which investigators lost track of the aircraft.
The Bush administration has come under increasing European pressure to reveal the routes and activities of its reported CIA prisoner flights in the wake of an article in The Washington Post, which first revealed the possible existence of detention facilities in Eastern Europe.
The Council of Europe is opening a probe into the reports.