From difficult times to modern times

The humble circumstances of my late father, a State Railroad inspector, frankly did not allow me to make the acquaintance of the airplane as a child.

When we sold our magnificent Greek house with a garden in the Izmir district of Karşıyaka and moved to Istanbul (because my family had decided I should study at the prestigious Galatasaray Lycée), or traveled to various places around the country, we always took the train; thanks to my father's job it was much easier, and cheaper to boot.    I must have made the acquaintance of the airplane for the first time when I was eighteen, had finished Galatasaray as first in my class and was sent to Paris for a fortnight. I remember being very excited and thinking what a great event that was. How often would I board airplanes later in life! I have flown to the four corners of the earth on Turkish Airlines. But above all I remember 1961. That summer when, as a cub reporter/interpreter, I was selected to be a guide at the famous Club Méditerrannée, we would meet the French groups at Izmir, tour Efes and Bergama and then fly to Antalya and from there to Kayseri for a Cappadocia tour and then back to Istanbul, where I would see them off and return to Izmir to meet a new group. This arduous schedule lasted for four months and was my first significant experience with Turkish Airlines. Such a relationship bears no resemblance to flying now and then. You get to know the personnel and become friends because you meet so often and, even more importantly, you begin to grasp the mechanics of the operation, the atmosphere, the 'spirit', if you will. I will never forget those four months. I witnessed the courtesy of the pilots and hostesses, the quality of the service, and the polite behavior to all customers whether Turkish or foreign. And the feelings I developed then have never changed.
The process that has brought us from those days up to today can be summed up in a word as 'dizzying'. When going to foreign countries now, but perhaps even more so on the return, you realize that the name Turkish Airlines inspires a sense of complete confidence in foreigners. Here among us it inspires far more: as if we're already home the minute we set foot inside the aircraft, where our newspapers, our cuisine, our tea and coffee, our traditional Turkish hospitality, our gentle, refined and painstaking service are all waiting for us...
With great ease you can travel now from one end of the world to the other on a Turkish Airlines plane and return with the same ease. Whether for us or for foreigners, Turkish Airlines has caught up with, even surpassed, the famous airlines of the big western countries that were founded so much earlier with enormous capital and incomparable resources to back them up. Over time, countless executives and personnel have contributed every step of the way as we progressed from those difficult times up to the present. I would like to express my infinite thanks and gratitude to all of them...