Opening routes, breaking paths...

Roads have joined people, cultures and civilizations throughout history. Every period has discovered new roads in keeping with its level of development, and the places and geographies through which the roads of each period have passed have assumed importance relative to other regions.

Among overland routes the Silk Road, and among sea routes the new way to India and the Far East that emerged with the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope - not to mention the Hijaz Railroad of which Sultan Abdulhamid always dreamed but which he never had an opportunity to implement in the full sense of the word - are just some of the important roads of centuries past.

A relatively new kind of 'road' in human history, the airline began to develop more in the 20th century and made an important leap during the two World Wars which brought enormous devastation to mankind in their wake.

In the field of air travel, which shortens distances and brings peoples and geographies rapidly closer to each other, in our country too there is one company that we follow with pride: Turkish Airlines.

Every time I travel with Turkish Airlines, one of the first things I do after I settle into my seat and fasten my seatbelt is to take a look at Skylife magazine. The section that most attracts my interest is the Turkish Airlines News. Behind the news in this section, I try to ferret out the answers to questions, such as which points in the world the Turkish people are now going to be able to reach more easily, where new routes are going to be opened, and how commercial, industrial and cultural exchanges are going to take place over those new links.

As one who believes that his country's historical and cultural impact go far beyond the boundaries of its own 780 thousand square-kilometer area, I also believe that area of influence needs to be developed and consolidated through commercial relations. And because this is important to me, every new route opened by Turkish Airlines excites me.

Next I look at the maps at the back of the magazine showing the domestic and international routes.  Years ago a political scientist friend of mine drew my attention to the places to which British Airways flew. He shared with me his observation that British Airways had flights to wherever in the world the Commonwealth of Nations had an interest. Ever since that day I have looked at Turkish Airlines' routes in the same way. I try to extract clues about the horizons of my country from every little red line to a point shown on those maps. I'm convinced that the executives of Turkish Airlines too have made this their point of departure for adding more and more little red lines in recent years. And they are making people like me who try to read those maps very happy indeed.

When I was asked to write a piece for Skylife magazine, I tried to skim through all the previous contributions to see what those writers had talked about. As I did so, one thing in particular caught my attention. First of all, everybody had wonderful memories and associations. But the one point in common among all the guest writers was this: satisfaction with Turkish Airlines and a heartfelt endorsement of the company. Such strong endorsements coming from the sector one serves must be extremely gratifying for the executives of a company.

I wish Turkish Airlines all possible success in its efforts to open new routes to the far corners of our globalizing world and to break new paths in providing useful services.

Wishing everyone a pleasant flight...