We had just finished four days hard filming. Two stories were in the bag and we were set to leave Turkey within the hour. One of the films was about artists threatened by Article 301 that claimed they had insulted Turkey in their work.
The gate had been called and we were lining up to board. Time passed as it does and I fell into a dream. Then a voice broke the reverie.
"You let me on that bloody plane you b****. My father is a member of the mafia and I am going to have you f****** killed".
An irate passenger had been refused access to the plane. His four sports bags full of clothes beat the carry-on item allowance and he wasn't happy.
The gate supervisor looked shocked. It was clear she wasn't expecting this. The man was over 6ft tall and she was just topping 5' 2''. She fumbled for her radio. Two rather small policemen duly approached, but their presence did nothing to stem the passenger's ire.
"You f*****g f***. I am going to have you killed. You are dead. You hear me. Dead."
We wondered whether getting the camera out was a good idea or not. We decided it wasn't strong enough for a story and handed in our boarding passes and trundled off down the gang-way, his ranting voice trailing behind us.
But we hadn't counted on one thing. His mother had already boarded and he wasn't going to let her leave without him. So he pushed past the gate supervisor and bounded down the gang-way, pushing past us. The small policemen ran after him.
"Please don't shoot him", I said as they past.
We decided not to board. Eventually the policemen returned, their towering captive with them. His mother trailed behind, her Gucci bag banging against her Prada shoes.
Then came the wait. A security breach like this could not go overlooked. Each boarded passenger had to leave the plane. All our bags were taken off. Lots of people stood around in uniforms talking to each other.
And looking on all of this was the large Turkish man with the bad language. He sat next to the gate, unhandcuffed and looking around him with a small frown on his face. It was as if he was trying to see what the trouble was.
It was all very strange. I imagined what would have happened in New York. Perhaps the man would have been in a body bag by then. At the very least he would be in leg-chains and an orange jumpsuit. But this was not New York and, lucky for him, he was very much breathing.
Eventually we boarded and the plane took off. The big Turkish man did not come with us. But I wonder if he was charged. Perhaps his Dad's connections won through in the end.