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Hakan Çelik, Journalist - Television personality
On wings of song
I've had a special interest in the modes of transportation ever since I was a little boy. Next to cars and trains, airplanes have always had a special place for me.
The more I traveled, the better I got to know them. I would go up to the observation decks at the world's big airports and watch the planes taking off and landing. I regarded these miracles of engineering that could hoist hundreds of people on their backs and take them places as my own friends.
Today I'm one of the people in Turkey who fly the most. I've had a chance to visit over a hundred countries. I've traveled to the some of the most interesting places in the world, from Zambia and Cuba to Ireland and South Africa. I've made a good part of my flights with Turkish Airlines. I have watched proudly as Turkish Airlines became one of the most valued trademarks in the world.
I have witnessed so many special moments in aviation up to now that when I think of it wonderful memories come to my mind in a flash. I've received invitations from several of the big manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus. Three times I been to the Boeing plant at Seattle, one of the world's largest aircraft factories. I've toured the assembly lines for both civilian and military aircraft. I was one of the first people to fly on the Airbus A380, one of the world’s largest passenger aircraft. I took part in the flight over the Istanbul Bosporus that was made in 1997 by the first member of the Boeing 737-800 family. I flew to Afghanistan on the Turkish Armed Forces' legendary C 130. I have seen McDonnell Douglas's nostalgic plant in California and Paris's Le Bourget, one of the most important centers of aviation.
Over the years airplanes started to become even more important to me. Aviation had an important place in my newspapers columns and on my television programs. I made flights of record length in short times that could strike many people as mad. Seeing the sun rise and set and crossing the international dateline were indescribable feelings. Consequently I always prefer to sit next to the window in order to be close to the different strata of the atmosphere. I usually switch on my laptop and work. But sometimes there are moments when I simply daydream without doing anything. I am always overcome by a deep sense of sadness on trips. And music like Mendelssohn's On Wings of Song, my listening choice on flights, can lift my spirits. But I am very happy there, safe under the wings of a great steel bird. Because flying is truly like a song.