Turkish Airlines’ (THY) controversial decision to remove alcohol from the in-flight menus of several domestic flights was brought to the attention of Parliament on Feb.14 when Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Chair Umut Oran submitted a parliamentary question on the matter, targeting government officials.
Oran asked parliamentary members whether or not the airline had received direct instructions to end alcohol service on the majority of its domestic flights as well as flights to eight other countries from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
THY previously cited a lack of demand and requests from passengers as well as foreign country officials as the motive behind their decision in a statement released Feb. 13.
Oran further questioned the timing of the decision, asking Parliament why an issue of demand wasn’t a problem in the company’s previous 90 years.
“For a company that boasts being a world brand and advertises itself as Europe’s best, isn’t rejecting even a single passenger’s demand for alcohol contradictory to its image as such?” Oran asked.
He also demanded information on procedures that had resulted in the determination of which countries the ban would relate to.
CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also voiced concern over the new direction THY appeared to allegedly be moving in, criticizing the recent leak of uniform designs during a guest appearance on a TV news program.
“Those designs hurt Turkey’s image,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “I hope the THY executives are not involved with such a thing. It is an organization that is paid by my taxes and yours. So it is in fact an organization of the people. It needs to listen to people’s criticisms.”
Kılıçdaroğlu added that THY should be more open to inspections.
“Turkish Parliament used to have the authority to inspect THY,” he said. “There was a change in shares from 51 percent to 49 percent and it was then placed out of any inspection.”
Meanwhile, Armenian weekly Agos is set to be included in publications offered complimentary to THY passengers at Atatürk Airport. Agos’ deal with the airline will soon extend to on-flight publications for international flights.