August 30th is Victory Day (Zafer Bayramı) in Turkey, a national holiday to “commemorate the victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, one of the final and the most decisive battles in the Turkish War of Independence in 1922.” In light of the failed coup attempt in July, the celebration has taken on a new tone this year and Turkish Airlines has been a centerpiece in articulating that message–
If you look back to WWI and WWII propaganda used in the United States and Britain (or Germany or USSR) you see the same sort of hyper-nationalistic “our noble people” language and perhaps there is nothing wrong with it, but it is blatant propaganda nonetheless and it still surprises me to see it…and to see people deny that it exists.
I personally see the Erdogan administration trying to unravel the very independence being celebrated today through its crackdown on dissent before and after the coup attempt, but I won’t further wade into that dicey topic. I will say that I do not think airlines, even flag carriers, should be used as mouthpieces for the government and that Turkish Airlines should instead invest its time and resources dispelling the notion that Turkey is now best avoided.
Flying on Turkish Airlines remains a pleasure and Turkish has not been awarded Europe’s Best Airline by SkyTrax for six years in a row for nothing: I continue to go out of my way to fly them and you should too. That should be the message from Turkish Airlines.