Turkish Airlines Sacks Pilot For Opposing ‘Praying in the Cockpit
A pilot with the Turkish Airlines (THY), has been dismissed for opposing the company’s new regulation on praying in the cockpit.
Ahmet Bolat, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Turkish Airlines, while responding to a question on LinkedIn, in July, had announced the company was preparing to introduce a new regulation allowing pilots to pray in the cockpit.
“First, there will be a regulation regarding those who wish to perform prayers in the cockpit and cabin. Thank you for reminding me,” Bolat responded to the LinkedIn question.
The dismissed pilot in a new interview with Gazete Duvar, Saturday, narrated how he came to be dismissed and Bolat’s response to his question on why he was dismissed.
According to him, his co-pilot complained to management about his response during an international flight they were on. He had said the regulation in question “is risky in terms of flight safety.”
The dismissed pilot continued saying he was dismissed days after that and when he approached Bolat on the reason for his dismissal, Bolat replied, “I don’t have to give reasons, I dismiss whoever I want.”
The dismissed pilot however said his response to his co-pilot was made during Ramadan when said co-pilot had told him he /she was fasting during that flight to which he responded “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.”