The woes of Turkish Airlines [THY] continue to pile up. The airline has been in the news lately for its endless delays, unannounced schedule changes, canceled flights and the firing of 305 staff members. All of the employees have legitimate grievances against their termination. In its latest scandal, the airline left $12 million to the Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad.
I recently heard that THY’s management, which drives a hard bargain for every cent with its workers, left behind $12 million to the Syrian government. It wasn’t hard for me to track down this story. When Turkey recently evacuated its Damascus embassy and Aleppo consulate, THY suspended its seven weekly flights to Damascus and five to Aleppo as of March 28 and closed down its offices. While the diplomats successfully brought all their assets with them, THY left behind $12 million.
THY had heeded earlier warnings and withdrawn $2 million of the $14 million that it had in Syria, but failed to recover and repatriate the rest. Now the Assad regime is refusing to even discuss the matter. Perhaps Turkish Airlines should gulp down a cold glass of water over the fate of that money.