THY chair offers ‘US formula’ to Turkish Defense Ministry
ANKARAThe chair of Turkish Airlines (THY) has said that THY pilots could work in both the private sector and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), a practice “similar to the one in the United States,” as he commented on the shortage of pilots in the Turkish Air Force due to suspensions and arrests following the July 15 failed coup attempt.
“There are a total of 800 pilots in THY who worked in the army previously and 500 of them started working for our company in the last five years,” THY chair İlker Aycı said in a meeting with a group of journalists, adding they had sent a list of the eligible candidates to the Defense Ministry.
“We prepared a list of volunteers two days after the incident [coup attempt] and presented it to the Defense Ministry. All of our pilots are patriots. Almost all of them are willing to go back to the TSK,” he added.
A recently-issued decree paved the way for the return of pilots who previously left or were dismissed from the TSK.
Aycı noted they’ve been working on several different U.S. models which could be applied to Turkey.
“There are models in the U.S. in which pilots can work both in the army and the private sector. We are examining and working on those models. Completely new models can also be formed,” he added.
Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık previously commented on the issue, saying the return of the pilots was a necessary step after the suspensions handed out over the failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“There are enough pilots in case of emergency, but we are below the level that we need,” Işık said on Aug. 12, adding that the new regulations would encompass the right to return for officers who were forced out by the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.