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A Basel-bound Turkish Airlines plane was called back to Istanbul after a bomb threat on Friday afternoon, an airline spokeswoman said.

The Turkish Airlines (THY) flight from Istanbul to Basel was diverted as an emergency measure.

The plane changed its route and returned -- escorted by a Turkish air force F16 -- from Bulgarian airspace to Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, local media reports stated.

Reuters, citing the airline spokesperson, said that the Boeing 738 aircraft with 151 passengers on-board has landed safely.

This is the third time in less than a month that a bomb scare was reported on a Turkish airline plane, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

A THY plane from  Istanbul to Sao Paulo made an emergency landing in Casablanca on March 30 over a bomb scare, counter-terrorism units carried out a search on the Boeing 777-300ER plane and found that it was a hoax.

Similarly, another flight from Istanbul to Portugal returned to Istanbul Ataturk Airport on 1 April after a bomb threat, which later turned out to be a hoax too.