More than 100 flights operated by Turkish Airlines were cancelled today (29 May) after workers called in sick to protest draft legislation that would outlaw industrial action by airline staff.
Aviation union Hava-Is denied that the walkouts amounted to official strikes, though it acknowledged that the action was a direct response to the bill working its way through the Turkish parliament.
"Many of our members have become sick and do not feel ready to fly," the union said. "In terms of flight safety, they are unable to perform their duties."
Responding, the flag carrier said in a statement: "The Hava-Is Union has made an illegal call for a strike and some workers have responded to this call. Because of this we are experiencing problems to flight operations".
The official webpage of Turkish Airlines has also been inaccessible for most of today, in what transport minister Binali Yildirim described as a cyber attack.
Local media reports quote Yildirim as saying that 104 flights were cancelled at Istanbul Ataturk airport, in addition to an unspecified number of delays. The walkouts are expected to end at midnight.