Candle hijacker given six years

A man who used candles to hijack a Turkish airliner so he could visit his girlfriend in Germany was sentenced to six years in prison after an Athens court determined he was suffering from «diminished reasoning» when he commandeered the aircraft, a court spokesman said on Wednesday. Ozgur Gencarslan, 20, used candles disguised as dynamite on March 29 to hijack a Turkish Airlines plane with 200 passengers after it left Istanbul. The plane was diverted to Athens. Gencarslan, a car mechanic, surrendered after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called him on a cellular phone belonging to one of the passengers. Police anti-terrorist units were ready to storm the plane when Gencarslan released the passengers. He told the court that convicted him late on Tuesday that he did not want to harm anyone and only wanted to see his girlfriend in Berlin but could not get a visa. Gencarslan also said he was emotionally distraught because of family problems. The court found that he was suffering from «diminished reasoning» when he hijacked the plane. (AP)