A Turkish official says security forces are searching a plane that landed at an Istanbul airport after a passenger claimed there was a bomb on board.

The official said the plane from Kharkov, Ukraine, to Istanbul, landed safely on Friday and was parked in a "safe area" at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport where it is being searched.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of government rules that bar civil servants from speaking to journalists without prior authorization.

The official denied a Dogan news agency report that a passenger on board tried to divert the plane to Sochi, Russia.

News reports said the plan was a Pegasus Airlines flight. A spokeswoman for the airline declined comment.