Turkish Airlines apologizes to passengers over internet interruption for former PM Yılmaz
Turkish Airlines has apologized to 47 passengers for disabling the wireless internet connection during a flight on which former Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz and his wife Berna Yılmaz were traveling.
The wireless interruption was applied in order to prevent the Yılmaz family from finding out about the death of their son while on the plane, daily Hürriyet columnist Uğur Gürses reported on Jan. 3.
In its apology, Turkey’s national flag carrier also granted 7,500 air miles to each of the 47 passengers.
Mehmet Yavuz Yılmaz, the eldest son of Mesut Yılmaz, was found shot in the head with a single bullet at his residence in the Beykoz district of Istanbul on Dec. 16, with police evaluating the possibility of suicide.
When the news broke, Turkish Airlines deactivated the wireless internet in the business class on one its flights from Los Angeles to Istanbul, on which Yılmaz family was aboard.
Turkish Airlines subsequently sent a letter to 47 passengers on the flight, penned by its chairman İlker Aycı. The letter detailed why the Wi-Fi was shut down during the flight and issued an apology to the passengers.
Yılmaz, who was 38 years old when he died, was on Dec. 18 laid to rest in the Kanlıca Cemetery in Istanbul.
Daily newspaper Posta reported on Dec. 17 that Yılmaz was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy two years ago and occasionally suffered from epileptic seizures.
The report also stated that Yılmaz had become depressed but he had not been taking his regular drugs for the past year.
Before heading to the U.S. for the treatment of his spouse Berna Yılmaz, former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz had reportedly informed bodyguards of his son’s situation and urged them not to leave him alone.