The two men who hijacked a Turkish airplane en route from northern Cyprus to Istanbul on Saturday are Iranians; the
news agency quoted Turkish Cypriot Transport Minister Salih Usar as saying.
Usar, speaking in Nicosia, said the hijackers were protesting against the policies of the United States.
The plane, which took off from Ercan airport in the northern Turkish Cypriot part of divided Nicosia, landed in the southern Turkish resort of Antalya after the pilots said they needed to refuel.
The hijackers wanted to go to Iran or Syria, passengers and officials said.
The pilots and most of the passengers escaped after the plane landed in Antalya, leaving only the hijackers and a few passengers and crew still on board.
The two men, according to passengers, claim to be Al-Qaeda members and in possession of a bomb.