Two Turks trying to deliver a message to Pope Benedict XVI protesting at his planned trip to Turkey surrendered in Italy after hijacking a Turkish Airlines jet carrying 113 people from Albania to Istanbul.
A spokeswoman for Italy's civil aviation body ENAC said two hours after the plane landed in Brindisi, Italy, the hijackers got off the plane. It was reported that both then surrendered to Italian police after negotiations. No one was hurt in the incident.
The Boeing 737-400 was hijacked in Greek airspace after taking off from Albania.
Istanbul deputy governor Vedat Muftuoglu said the hijackers stormed into the cockpit 15-20 minutes after take-off from Tirana and asked the pilots to fly to Rome, but Italian warplanes forced it to land in Brindisi.
"They told the pilots they wanted to protest against the Pope and wanted the plane diverted to Rome," said Mustuoglu.
The captain told the hijackers that the aircraft did not have sufficient fuel and the plane was diverted to Brindisi.
Turkish authorities identified one of the hijackers as Hakan Ekinci. The other's first name was Mahmut, but his family name was not known. Pope Benedict angered the Muslim world in Germany on September 12, when he quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman."