Business mogul Ağaoğlu’s helicopter flies ‘without permission,’ alarms Air Force
ISTANBULThe unreported flight of a helicopter owned by a Turkish construction mogul has alarmed the Turkish Air Force, as it was followed by two F-16 jets until contact was made with the helicopter’s pilot in the skies above Istanbul.
Taking off from Avşa Island off the northern province of Balıkersir on Sept. 4 at around 5:15 p.m., allegedly without reporting with the Air Traffic Control Center, a Bell 430-type helicopter belonging to mogul Ali Ağaoğlu prompted the Turkish Air Force to send two jets to identify and contact the vehicle that was headed to Istanbul’s Çekmeköy district.
After receiving a notification from the control center about the inability to identify the helicopter, two F-16 jets took off from Balıkesir Airport and tracked the vehicle until it completed its report to the control center for its flight.
Meanwhile, due to the flight of the jets above Istanbul, the Governor’s Office issued a statement to alleviate concerns taking over social media about flights being carried out without permission.
Further reports also emerged on Sept. 5 that the helicopter, which was flying Ağaoğlu’s brother at the time, had completed its permission procedures with the control center and conducted the flight in accordance with the rules. It was further reported that the problem stemmed from the fact that the radio transmission from the aircraft was not conveyed to the control center as it was on a low flight path.
Ağaoğlu, the chairman and founder of the Ağaoğlu Group of Companies, is widely known for controversial public remarks and a flamboyant lifestyle considered distinctive of nouveau riche elites in Turkish society.
In May, an investigation was launched into the mogul over his comments on one-night stand relationships on the ground that the statements were insulting and discriminatory to women.
“I don’t like one-night stands. If I did, there would be no women left in Istanbul,” Ağaoğlu said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster CNN Türk on April 30, eliciting a harsh response from women.
The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district charged Ağaoğlu with “openly insulting a fraction of the society on the grounds of social class, race, religion, sect or regional differences.”