Time to hit THY

Time to hit THY

The best-known Turkish brand in the world, Turkish Airlines (THY), is under fire. No, it is not rival companies or propaganda tools of those states that are against Turkey that are attacking THY; it is our own media, which does not miss a chance to hurt our country’s most enviable brand.

Despite the fact that THY ranks in one of the top places on the list of companies giving the most advertisements to media.

They say the advertisement departments and the newsrooms of the newspapers have no connection with each other; these attacks on THY prove (!) that this is true. Or they prove something else.

The latest attacks focus on two fields: The design sketches for the new uniforms for the flight staff and the lifting of alcoholic drink service on certain routes.

It is said that the length of the skirts of the stewardesses are made longer, they are made to put a fez on their heads and they are made to wear a kaftan each. Images are printed claiming that “these are the new outfits.” The designer assigned to create new uniforms keeps saying, “These are only a few of dozens of sketches. I also have very different designs.” There are interpretations based on the first images as if they were the last decision.

The topic of lifting of the service of alcoholic beverages on some flights is a much more serious theme of attack. As if all the airlines in the world offer alcoholic drinks on every flight and it were only THY introducing a restriction to this practice. Whoever has heard the roar can easily believe in such a vision.

It is debated that the new outfits and the restriction on alcohol, together, are the proof that Turkey is drifting in a different direction. It is said that “We are being made conservative. The intervention in lifestyles has moved to THY.”

Is that really so? Do all airline companies offer alcohol to their passengers? Or is it that THY is following suit with the airlines of companies belonging to countries that have an “Islamic Republic” attribute in their names?

Two major airline companies of the United States, US Airways and United do not offer alcohol to their passengers either on domestic or international flights. Air Canada, AirAsia, Austrian Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Egyptair, Finair, Jetblue Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Thai Airways also, some only on domestic routes, some on both domestic and international routes, are all airlines that do not serve alcohol.

I have copied this list from a website of an organization related to the subject. As you can see a situation that is difficult to explain with the preference of only one neighborhood is in question. Brief research reveals that the “non-alcoholic beverages” practice of airlines, one that is becoming more widespread, is related to flight safety.

What is it? On those routes that THY has decided to stop serving alcohol on, a similar practice has been launched by other airlines years ago; primarily by the airlines of countries such as the United States and Canada.

What else? The design sketches for the uniforms of the flight crew have not been finalized yet; the designer preparing the uniforms said the final touches on the outfits will not deserve the roar that has been raised.

It seems as if, when the dust settles, we will be left with the fact that we are injuring the best-known brand of our country with our own hands. THY, which carries our flag honorably to every corner of the world while national airlines of other countries go bankrupt one after the other, the airline that has an annual turnover of almost $5 billion, the one that aims to carry 46 million passengers this year.

There should be a reason. But what?

Fehmi Koru is a columnist for daily Star in which this piece was published on Feb 17. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.

FEHMİ KORU - fkoru@stargazete.com