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Plain Business Sense

Reader comment on item: Fashion at Turkish Airlines

Submitted by Zac (United States), Feb 12, 2013 at 23:37

Two things:

First, whether or not Turkey it turning more towards Islam is no cause for alarm. Those who fear a knife in the back from one of America's oldest allies (older than Germany or Japan) forget the extreme Turkish antipathy towards Arabs. That and the malleable nature of Islamic identity; this is a country where covered women do not vote only for the AKP but also the nationalist and socialist parties (remember, in the last election, the AKP polled only 43% of the vote, but due to vagaries in election laws, received 60% of the seats)

Second, both allegorical and statistical data point to a huge upswing in Arab world tourism to Turkey--it's the place where the bourgeois Gulf Arabs, who have money but not the cultural wherewithal to brave heathen Europe, go for an Islam-friendly vacation. Talk to any Turkish hotelier and he'll confirm their numbers are rising (usually to his displeasure); look for those making up English-language tours, and they'll be largely Arabs in the non-beach seasons. True, this is guided by explicit AKP policy, as is THY operating policy to some degree, but in the end it makes good business sense for an airline to take the cultural sensibilities of a massive market into account. Europeans won't care about the lack of skin, but the Arabs might prefer it. Also, considering the years that some of the changes took place (1973, 1989), those might be simply representative of the governments instituted after the military coups of 1971 and 1982.


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