As Turkish tanks rolls deeper into northern Syrian, some Bay Area residents have used Turkish Airlines as a proxy for the Turkish government.
Nearly 100 people showed up to the Turkish Airlines ticket counter at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) yesterday to protest Turkey’s incursion into Syria. The plan was to disrupt operations and delay or cancel the evening flight to Istanbul.
Protester Sabrina Melendez told NBC:
We don’t have a Turkish Consulate in the Bay Area, so this is the closest we could get to actually finding a way to impact Turkey.
Turkish Airlines ticketing counter at SFO is completely shut down. A real blockage of economic activity that benefits the Turkish State, and of its transportation infrastructure. #DefendRojava #Rojava #WomenDefendRojava #AllOut4Rojava pic.twitter.com/YMPpDePcKD
— Occupy Oakland (@OccupyOakland) October 12, 2019
Ultimately, the protest did not delay operations. Passengers were diverted to another counter and Turkish’s flight to Istanbul departed on-time.
I wrote about the issues undergirding the protest in my recent Iraqi Kurdistan trip report. You can check that out below:
Turkey owns a 49% stake in Turkish Airlines and without a consulate in San Francisco, perhaps the TK ticket counter at SFO was the most appropriate venue. But while I am fully sympathetic to the cause of the protestors, I don’t know that blocking travelers from checking in for their flight is the best way to raise awareness. Hopefully, those in Washington who can make a real difference will not wait until is too late…
image: Twitter / Occupy Oakland