Greek pilot lands in Turkey, withdraws cash from local ATM! Or so goes viral hoax

According to (real) new reports, some people actually called the Turkish municipality to inquire about the ‘incident’

Capital controls and a yearning for ever nearing summer holidays in the Aegean are apparently now exporting “urban legends” from Greece, with the latest starting along the lines of “… Did ya hear the one about the Greek F-16 pilot who landed in Turkey to withdraw money…?”

A French military-oriented website,, disseminated the “news” of a Greek pilot landing his fighter jet in an abandoned airfield across from the eastern Aegean island of Samos. The pilot then went, by foot… to a nearby village and lifted a big wad of Turkish lira, then went to an exchange booth and converted the money into euros … before flying out again!

What’s even stranger than the story is the fact that a couple of Turkish news providers actually “picked it up”, with calls made to the local municipality about the “incident” and even threats of a demarche.

Here’s the French parody story:

“…Already familiar with the area from frequent training exercises over the Aegean, pilot (Homere) Sipostopoulos was flying a patrol over the Greek island of Samos when he suddenly changed course and head towards an abandoned airfield in the town of Söke just 3 kilometers away in Turkey’s western province of Aydın… Upon landing at the airfield, which had once been used for military training flights but had been shut down 15 years ago, the Greek pilot then taxied his plane into one of the dilapidated hangars nearby to hide it… Exiting his plane, Sipostopoulos {a fake-sounding Greek last name, by the way} then proceeded to Söke city center on foot and withdrew TRY 2,000 (EUR 700) from three different ATMs, each, before heading to the change office and having it all converted to Euros… Now with over EUR 2,000 on hand, the pilot quickly returned to the hangar and took off, returning back to the Nea Anchialos {sic, Aghialos} airfield in Greece. also claimed, tongue firmly planted in cheek, that following the incident, the Turkish government filed a formal protest with Athens.

In the late afternoon, the “incident” was linked to the highest trending hashtag on Twitter for Greece #F16ATM