RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch Friday, February 25 said the government should not give clearance to the appointment of Ilker Ayci as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India “keeping in view national security”.
SJM’s co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan said the government is “already sensitive” to the issue and has taken up the matter “very seriously”.
“We feel that government should not give its permission (to Ayci’s appointment) keeping in view national security. I think the government is already sensitive to the issue and has taken up the matter very seriously. I don’t think the government will approve it,” he told PTI.
When asked for the reasons why the SJM is opposed to the newly appointed CEO and MD, Mahajan reiterated that it’s a matter of national security. “After all, decisions are taken about a person based on his relationships.”
On February 14, Tata Sons announced the appointment of Ayci, former chairman of Turkish Airlines, as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India.
Announcing his appointment, it said in a statement that Ayci will assume his new responsibilities on or before April 1. The statement also added that Ayci’s appointment to the new position is subject to the requisite regulatory approvals.
The Ministry of Home Ministry (MHA) “scrupulously” carries out a thorough background check of all foreign nationals when they are appointed to the key positions of any Indian company.
It will be the same process for the newly appointed CEO and MD of Air India as well, official sources have said. Since Ayci is a Turkish national, the MHA is expected to take help from the external intelligence agency, R&AW, for his background check.
Ayci was an advisor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when the latter was mayor of Istanbul, from 1994 to 1998. He also served Turkish Airlines as its chairman from 2015 to 2022 and was credited with turning the airline around.