ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Governments around the world scrambled on Wednesday to send planes and ships to evacuate their citizens from turmoil in Libya, whose leader Muammar Gaddafi has vowed to crush a revolt against his 41-year rule. Fears for the safety of foreigners were heightened after a Turkish worker was shot dead as he climbed a construction crane near the capital Tripoli, according to Turkish officials. Turkey, with 25,000 citizens in oil-producing Libya, is mounting the biggest evacuation operation in its history, and 21 other governments have asked Ankara for help getting their nationals out, said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. European Union states are evacuating some 10,000 EU citizens from Libya, a spokesman for the EU executive said during a European Commission news briefing. The US State Department said a 600-passenger chartered ferry was due to leave Tripoli for Malta. There are several thousand Americans living in Libya, most with dual citizenship with about 600 carrying only US passports. Israel said it would allow 300 Palestinians in Libya to enter Palestinian territories in the coming days. Witnesses described scenes of chaos as foreigners tried to escape the violence. Italy said estimates that at about 1,000 people had been killed in the uprising were credible. Adil Yasar, a Turk who arrived in Istanbul late on Tuesday, said fights broke out at the packed airport, where he and others had gone without food and water for two days. A passenger who landed in Madrid on Wednesday on a Libyan Airlines chartered flight from Tripoli said the situation was chaotic. "The airport has collapsed," he said. Another passenger, Venezuelan Carlos Dominguez, said the capital was tense and people were waiting for a stronger global reaction: "People are angry with the international attitude." US officials have suggested Washington's muted response to the violence in Libya was due to fears that Gaddafi could retaliate against Americans in the North African country. Some 3,000 Turks who found sanctuary in a soccer stadium in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the uprising began, set sail for home escorted by a Turkish navy frigate, while two French military planes brought 402 French nationals to Paris. "We are very happy it's over," one passenger told Reuters at Paris' Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport. "It was very sudden. Five days ago, we felt really secure. One would not have said that the situation was going to degenerate so quickly." Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has warned Gaddafi's government against taking "cruel steps" to crush the uprising, and called on all sides to ensure the security of foreigners. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini predicted hundreds of thousands of refugees could try to cross the Mediterranean by boat. "This is a prospect that not just Italy but the whole of the European Union should prepare for in the near future," he said. Nationals of Lebanon, Syria and Germany and Turkey have joined thousands of Tunisians fleeing Libya across its western border, the International Organisation for Migration said. The IOM is trying to find new evacuation routes from Libya, which has an estimated 1.5 million foreign nationals. Libya borders Tunisia and Egypt, both of which have ousted long-time rulers in the past few weeks. Britain has said it planned to send a charter plane to Libya to bring out Britons, and Germany urged all its citizens to leave the country. With eastern regions breaking free of Gaddafi's rule and deadly unrest hitting the capital, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Japan, Russia and Saudi Arabia also sent or were planning to send planes for their nationals. Meanwhile, a former Libyan cabinet minister was quoted as saying by a Swedish newspaper on Wednesday that Muammar Gaddafi ordered the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Former Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Al Jeleil, reported to have resigned this week over the violence used by the government against protesters, told the tabloid Expressen he had evidence Gaddafi ordered the bombing that killed 270 people. "I have proof that Gaddafi gave the order for (the) Lockerbie (bombing)," Expressen quoted Al Jeleil as saying in an interview at an undisclosed large town in Libya. The newspaper did not say what the evidence of Gaddafi's involvement in the bombing was. A Libyan, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, was tried and jailed in Scotland for the bombing, and Gaddafi, in power since 1969, was branded an international pariah for years. Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned Muammar Gaddafi's government on Tuesday against taking "cruel steps" to crush an uprising, as thousand of Turks stranded in Libya waited to board ships sent to bring them home. Some 2,600 Turkish workers in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi were assembled at the port to board two ferryboats that arrived late on Tuesday to rescue them from the violence engulfing the North African country. "I would like to remind both officials and government opponents in Libya to be extremely careful to ensure the security of foreigners in their country," Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party in parliament. Officials say there are 25,000 Turks in Libya, many of whom work for construction firms. Gaddafi has vowed defiance in the face of mounting revolt. At least 233 people have been killed in the violence so far.