Turkish pilots quit en masse in early 2013
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
More than 100 hundred pilots resigned from the Turkish Air Forces in the space of one month.Five-and-a-half months after the delivery of an official question by a main opposition deputy, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz eventually responded to the question and confirmed that more than 100 hundred pilots had resigned from the Turkish Air Forces (TSK) within one month in early 2013.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Umut Oran had submitted his question in February as addressed to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The response, nonetheless, came from Defense Minister Yılmaz, according to a written statement released by Oran on Aug. 1. “In January-February, during the retirement/resignation period for 2013, 110 pilot officers in total, 63 of whom being combat jet pilots, from the Air Forces Command applied for leaving the TSK through resignation,” Oran quoted Yılmaz as saying in his response.
While denying rumors suggesting that the number of those resignations, around 110, was equal to 15 percent of the total number of military pilots in Turkey, Yılmaz, however, didn’t elaborate on the proportion of the resignations as relative to the total number, Oran noted.
“The number of pilot generals who are under arrest in prison is 11. According to unit costs identified for the year 2012, the cost of an F-16 pilot lieutenant is 4 million Turkish Liras,” Yılmaz also said in his response, while explaining that a lieutenant graduated from the Air Force Academy was given an intense training flight and preparation for war which included theoretical training ro be F-16 pilots.