Duvar English

A former military pilot was laid off from his post at Pegasus Airlines due to comments he made about an accident that occurred on Feb. 5 at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport. A plane skidded off the runway, killing three and injuring 180.

Bahadır Altan had been a phone guest on the CNN Türk broadcast on Feb. 6 when he said that Turkey needed to take a break from new projects and fix its existing shortcomings.

“The country is like a truck with busted brakes. People die on their way to save others from an avalanche. Istanbul is awaiting a massive quake. Let’s first take a second to prepare for these,” Altan had said, referring to a car crash that killed five police officers on their way to save victims of a deadly avalanche in Van.

The anchorwoman interrupted Altan and the phone line was cut.

Altan announced his layoff with the following Tweet: “The system of the busted brakes have found a culprit! Pegasus let me go. You don’t have the power to hide the truth. Your threats and layoffs can’t silence us. We won’t leave this country in your detrimental hands.”

In an exclusive statement to Duvar, Altan said that he was expecting the layoff and that he thinks the airline was under immense pressure to take action against his comments.

“The real reason why I became the scapegoat was because the ruling Justice and Development Party’s rule is harmed every time the truth comes out,” Altan said.