Ilker Ayci turns down CEO offer 2 weeks after appointment by Tata Sons
Turkey’s Ilker Ayci has turned down the offer to be the Chief Executive Officer of Tata’s Air India, a Tata spokesperson said on Tuesday, 2 weeks after the announcement of his appointment led to opposition in India.
Mr. Ayci had been appointed as a CEO and MD of Air India by Tata Sons’ Board on February 14 and he was to join the airline on or before April 1.
Ayci, who was appointed to lead the loss-making national carrier by its new owners, said his appointment to the position was ‘coloured’ by Indian media, “I have come to the conclusion that it would not be a feasible or an honourable decision to accept the position in the shadow of such a narrative,” Ayci said in a statement.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch had opposed Ayci’s appointment citing that he was an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he was mayor of Istanbul between 1994-1998.
While diplomatic relations are friendly on the surface, there are many potential sources of tension between Turkey and India, as Erdogan’s remarks on Kashmir were unwanted and uncalled for.
A spokesperson for India’s Tata, which recently took over debt-laden Air India in a $2.4 billion equity and debt deal, confirmed the development, without sharing further details.
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