That first flight...

In everyone’s life there is a turning point, a place where change begins.

For some it’s getting a job, for some it’s returning to their country, for others it’s recovering from an illness or getting back together with people they have missed. My life is no exception. In my life too there was a turning point that opened the door to the future. It was the day I found out I’d passed the university entrance exam.

I was spending my summer vacation in a green coastal town on the eastern Black Sea. The news was late reaching us and the time allotted for applying to a particular school was already up. We had to get to Ankara pronto, and from there to Izmir. My parents made their minds up and we set out all together early the next morning.

I was only eighteen years old when all this, my first experience with Turkish Airlines, happened so many years ago. I took off on my first plane trip with my father from Trabzon Airport. When I clutched his arm tightly as we were boarding, he said gently, “Relax. Lean back and enjoy the blue skies!” I don’t know if it was my trust in my father or what, but soaring high in the sky at his side didn’t frighten me at all. I was flying to my dreams in a safe and quality environment. Suddenly my heart was lighter and I felt my spirit soaring free. What I remember about that flight is not only that it was exciting but that it was a lot of fun, too. But I no longer remember whether my joy was due to my being proud of being on an airplane, or because I was on my way to becoming a university student. I felt like part of one big happy family during the brief period I shared with the other people on board. There is one thing I have never forgotten and that I still talk about sometimes: the aroma and taste of the coffee as we flew through the clouds. And the reassuring voices of the hostesses, and their smiling faces. I have never forgotten the warm memories of that first flight, which are engraved in my heart because they have special meaning for me. Later, when I flew often, every time I was handed a cup of coffee I recalled that young girl who took off on her first fight with complete confidence in her Daddy. And perhaps for that reason, although the distances have changed, including trips I’ve made to several European countries and even to the U.S., my confidence in Turkish Airlines has never been shaken.

From my perspective today I can see that university truly was one of the turning points in my life. And I am grateful to my my teachers there for my success in my working life, to my classmate, whom I met there and who later became my husband, for my darling children, and last but not least to my mother and father, who saw me off safely on that journey on which I embarked in order to leave a mark in the world.

Living up to the reputation associated with its name, Turkish Airlines is one of Turkey’s most valuable assets. Its flag waves with just pride as it transports passengers through the skies to the four corners of the earth, high above the clouds, carrying love from the past to the future.

I sincerely hope that the journeys you make to your dreams will be filled with peace, happiness and togetherness, and always safe.