Turkish Airlines dismisses pilot for opposing regulation on praying in cockpit

Turkish Airlines has dismissed its pilot over saying "it’s risky in terms of flight safety" for the regulation the company is preparing, which paves the way for pilots to pray in cockpit in aircraft cabin. The dismissed pilot told Gazete Duvar that the person who complained about them was close with two executives.

Duvar English

Turkish Airlines (THY), the national flag carrier, has dismissed its pilot who opposed the new regulation the company is preparing for pilots wanting to pray in the cockpit and for passengers in the aircraft cabin, Halk TV reported on Aug. 3.

Accordingly, the pilot told the co-pilot during an international flight that the regulation in question "is risky in terms of flight safety." After the co-pilot complained about the pilot to the management, the THY dismissed the latter a few days after the dialogue took place.

THY CEO Ahmet Bolat reportedly said to the pilot who asked the reason for dismissal, "I don't have to give reasons, I dismiss whoever I want."

The dismissed pilot told Can Bursalı from Gazete Duvar that the co-pilot said he/she was fasting during the flight that took place during Ramadan, in which the former replied that "fasting during a 12-hour flight is risky."

"The first officer on the flight had 3-4 years of experience. They stated that they had high religious sensitivities. But in my opinion, they are not that sensitive about religion. They are someone who tries to gain a position by using religion. This person's father is a professor of philosophy at a school in London, but I think he raised his child to be a snitch," the dismissed pilot said.

The pilot added, "I am a Muslim too. But what we do (being a pilot) is risky. The co-pilot said to me, 'I can pray as you go to the toilet'. The toilet is a necessity, but you can pray after the flight."

The dismissed pilot said the co-pilot was close with two executives, namely Abdülkerim Çay and Ebubekir Akgül. Accordingly, both of them graduated from Kartal İmam Hatip High School at the same year with the son of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Bilal Erdoğan.