It’s one of the few airline lounges in the world with its own private security check, and once you’re in, the Turkish Airlines Lounge at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport more than fulfills a passenger’s every whimsy. Awarded the “Best Business Class Lounge in the World” in 2015, some of the first things that hit you as you enter the 6,000 sq m mini “city” within the busy airport are the large, multi-level expanses, a library with a stately billiards table, a cinema hall, and downstairs, even a simulated golf course. If you just want to put your feet up and get a massage, you can book one gratis (you may have to wait a bit). But the best part is the array of Turkish delicacies you can just pick and choose: kebaps, köfte (much like our Indian koftas or meatballs), pide (Turkish pizza), pasta, noodles, pastries, baklavas, a variety of olives, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages.
Once you’re airborne, enjoy the service of your own private ‘Flying Chef’ in Business Class on board Turkish Airlines that flies the Delhi-Istanbul and Delhi-Mumbai routes every day of the week. We met Chef Mehmet Akif, who had been flying with Turkish Airlines for two years, and who offered us a delicious platter of appetizers that included Su bore cream cheese, Ezine Peyniri white cheese (both specialties of Turkey), and their own version of Samosa. Turkish Airlines takes great pride in their on-board service. A visit to the Turkish Airlines headquarters in Istanbul revealed the impeccable standards of the food prepared by Gourmet Entertainment Company Turkish Do. & Co., who, since 1786 have been master confectioners.
Turkish Airlines started operations in India in 2004. In a special press conference that sought to dispel any doubts about security in and around Istanbul, Turkish Airlines chairman of the board and executive committee, Ilker Ayci told the Indian press in an exclusive quote: “India is a market that is close to our heart. Unfortunately we have a problem getting permission to fly there. We would like to fly to Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. Right now we are flying to Delhi and also Mumbai.”