Flying for Skylife...

Guests on this page of ours have shared with you their childhood memories of airplanes, their first flight experiences, and whatever else flying makes them think of. Apart from one or two among those guest writers, I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t like flying and air travel.

Like them, I too had a childhood dream of flying. I used to look up at the sky sometimes at the occasional plane passing overhead and wonder if I too would ride on an airplane one day.

My first flight for Skylife took me to Kars, on an RJ100, to write an article about Sarıkamış. I was so excited as I was writing my first article for the magazine that it took me almost a day and a half just to finish the first paragraph. The rest took me only an hour and a half... After turning in what I had written I waited nervously in front of my boss, Adnan Bostancıoğlu. He read it, read it again and then again. Finally he said, “If you cut out the first paragraph it’s a good piece of writing.” That was my first lesson on how an article for Skylife was supposed to be. Every flight I went on during that month that my first article appeared, my eyes were on the people leafing through the magazine. Would they read my article? How much time would they spend on it? Which pages were they looking at the most? Even now when I fly I always notice who’s reading Skylife.

‘Turkey’s one and only flagship carrier’ is one of Turkish Airlines’ key slogans. You can imagine then what a great responsibility it is to put out a magazine for such a respected institution. We reach over a million passengers a month and I believe we are also one of the magazines in Turkey that receives the most letters from readers. How fortunate we are to have readers from every country on earth who notice even our tiniest mistakes and let us know, and who share openly with us their praise and their criticism.

For us every month is like a new birth, exciting and pleasurable but painful too. Discussing the features for that month, getting down to work on the ones that get approval, editing the articles submitted, selecting the photographs, sending the texts to the translator, designing the pages, reading the final proofs. And then deciding on that month’s cover, like choosing a name for a baby. At the end of the month these tasks often seem never ending and we worry that we aren’t going to make the deadline. And under that stress we sometimes work all night in the mad rush to get the magazine to the printer on time. But the interesting part is that when the printed issues come back to us, we take them in our arms like a baby and we don’t remember any of that stressful and sometimes disheartening process. And we immediately start preparing for the next round.

I’ve been going through this experience with my co-workers every month for ten years now. And a person naturally comes to identify with the product - or shall I say baby? - into which she puts so much labor. I feel as if I’ve flown to all 131 of the destinations served by Turkish Airlines. In fact, some of our readers must think the same thing because I’ve even received letters addressed to ‘Baharlife’!

In the hope that you will keep your interest and your eyes on us, I wish you all a very pleasant flight.