Friday, September 8, 2023

Turkish Airlines Dismisses Pilot For Opposing 'Praying During Flight' Regulations

Recently, a pilot employed by Turkish Airlines (THY) was terminated from his position due to his opposition to the company's new regulation regarding praying in the cockpit.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ahmet Bolat, had previously announced on LinkedIn in July that the airline was preparing to implement this new policy. Bolat stated that there would be a regulation put in place for those who wished to perform prayers both in the cockpit and cabin. However, it seems that not all members of THY were in agreement with this decision.


The dismissed pilot's stance on the issue is not clear, but it appears that he held views contrary to those of the company. This situation raises questions about religious freedom and workplace policies as well as the potential impact on employee morale and job security. It remains to be seen how THY will navigate these complex issues going forward.

In a new interview with Gazete Duvar on Saturday, a dismissed pilot shared his story of how he was let go and the response he received from Bolat when he questioned why.


The pilot explained that during an international flight, his co-pilot complained to management about his response regarding a regulation that he believed posed a risk to flight safety. This ultimately led to his dismissal just days later. When the dismissed pilot approached Bolat for an explanation, Bolat's response was dismissive and unhelpful: "I don't have to give reasons, I dismiss whoever I want." However, the pilot clarified that his original comment to the co-pilot was made during Ramadan when the co-pilot had mentioned fasting during the 12-hour flight.


The dismissed pilot had responded that fasting during such a long flight could be risky. These details shed light on a potentially unfair dismissal and highlight the importance of clear communication between pilots and their colleagues as well as management.

During a recent flight, the first officer with 3-4 years of experience revealed their high religious sensitivities. However, according to a dismissed pilot, this individual seems more interested in using religion to advance their own career rather than truly being sensitive to its beliefs and practices. The dismissed pilot even went so far as to suggest that the first officer's father, who is a philosophy professor at a school in London, may have played a role in raising their child to be manipulative in this way.


As a fellow Muslim and experienced pilot, the dismissed pilot also shared concerns about safety during flights. They recall an incident where the co-pilot offered to pray on their behalf while they used the restroom mid-flight. While acknowledging the importance of prayer, the dismissed pilot emphasized that safety should always come first during flight operations.


Overall, these incidents highlight the complexities of navigating religious beliefs and practices within professional settings like aviation. It is important for individuals to respect each other's beliefs while also prioritizing safety and professionalism at all times.


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