Turkish Airlines to discuss future of chief executive

Chief executive stripped of his duties following disagreement with company chairman


The board of Turkish Airlines is meeting on Monday to discuss the future of chief executive officer Temel Kotil, who was suspended from his duties, a person familiar with the matter said. The board will convene in the morning to address Kotil’s future, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the suspension has not been announced publicly.

Kotil was stripped of his duties following a disagreement with company chairman Hamdi Topcu, Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported today, citing unidentified executives at the carrier. The spat centered on a controversial decision to ban make-up on flight attendants, as well as the handling of a strike that led to the firing of 305 employees, Milliyet said.

Kotil, a former academic who has led Turkish Air since 2005, said in an interview on May 9th that he wants to delay a possible order for jumbo jets for at least two years, contrasting with comments by Topcu, who has said the company will make a decision by the end of the year.

Turkish Airways, in which the government holds a 49 per cent stake, is in the midst of plans to more than double its fleet and expand its route network. The Turkish flagship carrier, which is officially known as Turk Hava Yollari AO, has almost tripled in the last year, making it the best performing stock on the 100-member Borsa Istanbul stock exchange national 100 index. The board may decide to select chief financial officer Coskun Kilic as Kotil’s successor, Milliyet said. – (Bloomberg)