Turkey's Ilkar Ayci said on Tuesday that he would not take over the role of the Tata group's Air India CEO, days after his appointment was announced amid protests over his past political ties in India.

Tata on February 14, 2022 announced Ayci's appointment as the CEO of  Air India Airline, the first since taking over the debt-laden airline in January in a $2.4 billion equity and debt deal.

But last week, the BJP's ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), called on the government to stop Ayasi's appointment, citing his past political ties in Turkey that have strained relations with New Delhi.

Former Turkish Airlines chairman Ayci was an advisor to Tayyip Erdogan in 1994, when the Turkish president was the mayor of Istanbul.

Ilkar Ayci said in a statement that in a recent meeting with Tata Chairman N Chandrasekaran, he refused to take the position after reading about attempts in certain sections of the Indian media to "paint my appointment with undesirable colours".

Ayci further added, "As a business leader who has always prioritised professional credo ... I have come to the conclusion that it would not be a feasible or an honorable decision to accept the position in the shadow of such narrative,"

This can be considered as the biggest loss for Air India as Aysi is already the most talented in this airline sector and with its skills, it has taken the Turkish airline to many heights.


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