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BA losing cultural sensitivity etc regarding Istanbul

BA losing cultural sensitivity etc regarding Istanbul

Old Mar 28, 2024, 7:34 am
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BA losing cultural sensitivity etc regarding Istanbul

I have noticed a bunch of strange things over the last year or so regarding BA flights to Istanbul, and wonder what BA is thinking................

I would say that in one in 4 flights from LHR-IST, the gate agents play the ARABIC boarding instructions, etc, which of course hardly anyone getting on the flight would understand. I and I have also witnessed several Turks also have mentioned this to the gate agents, and the answers range from, "Oh I am terribly sorry, but I pressed the Turkish button" to (believe it or not), "isn't it the same thing", to "are you sure?".

Moving onto going through security, Over the last 2 years Turkey has rescinded the need for visas to a bunch of nationalities (among them UK and US) Yet, most of the time people are sent back for visa checks, even though they are not necessary (and technically never were but were listed as needed by Timatic). It sees that BA IT strikes again.

But the craziest one I experienced the other day when after landing in Istanbul, the Purser made a special announcement that Turkey is a Muslim country and as it is the month of Ramadan it is "ILLEGAL to smoke, vape, eat or drink in public and that passengers could be subject to arrest, fines" etc.

I called her over, and flat out told her that perhaps she has mixed up a Saudi, Omani or whatever message from her IPad. She showed it to me and it was clearly marked as being for Turkey!

Despite what has happened in the last 20 years or so politically, Turkey is still a secular country and one has the right to eat, drink or smoke anywhere at anytime that one wants, and while one might want to point out that it is Ramadan, and one might want to be respectful, and in truth there are certain neighborhoods of Istanbul and certain parts of the country where I would not eat in public during the day, none of these places are places where the average BA passenger is going to go! Worse though is the fact that someone at BA has seemingly decided for whatever reason to spread such information in an official capacity!
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 8:00 am
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Having been in Istanbul during Ramadan I can confirm that most eateries etc are open throughout the day, although quiet. I think it is respectful not to try to openly breach local customs and culture, but it is certainly not illegal. How does BA end up with this misinformation and how much did they pay for it??
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 8:06 am
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considering the current direction of things in Turkey over the last few years, it seems BA is very in tune with cultural sensitivity there tbh.
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by chipster
Having been in Istanbul during Ramadan I can confirm that most eateries etc are open throughout the day, although quiet.
Same.
The only reason I even noticed it was Ramadan was because thousands of people came out after dusk and were sharing their evening cessation of fast with lots of friends and family which isn't something you see the rest of the year.
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 8:30 am
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The gate agents dont select the languages for boarding announcements. Its automated.
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 8:30 am
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This has to be a first. In 24 years I have never known you start a thread and indeed one where you do not at some point write in Capital Letters which, I have always been led to believe is the equivalent of shouting. Wonders never cease in so far as I actually agree with the sentiments that you are expressing. I would feel exactly the same. I do not speak Turkish - unfortunately but I have a lot of friends there particularly in Izmir. I do however speak several European languages and I am astounded that BA are so gauche in presenting Turkish announcements considering that there is such a large Turkish speaking population in parts of London - Finsbury Park/Harringay come to mind. Is this language issue of recent date? Many of us here would have no idea which language it was so this is not impossible.

As far as the warning about Ramadan is concerned - I am somewhat surprised that they make any announcement like this. It is almost as crass as those Irish arrivals where people who had consorted with animals had to see a Medical Officer. It just seems inappropriate and from what you say quite incorrect. In all the time that I have visited there - I have never been sent back for a Visa check as the Visa was purchased on arrival. It does sound like a BA IT problem.

I would say something to BA much along the lines that you have written here. I wrote to Iberia as their announcements always thanked passengers for their "Collaboracion" which should be "Co-operation". Collaboration is falling in with an enemy! It will help nothing for this year but it may make someone go and check these things with someone who does speak Turkish.

What I am certain of is that this purely insensitive and not in any way intentional.
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
"Collaboracion" which should be "Co-operation". Collaboration is falling in with an enemy!
Cooperation means "act together" in some supposed joint interest. Collaborate means the same thing but with the additional negative connotation of WWII 'treasonable' cooperation. However that negative connotation has been missing as an inference in the word for many decades and now collaborate is preferred and regarded as more positive as it implies acting together in a moral rather than strictly financial or forced sense.
c.f. Can we collaborate? You must cooperate.
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
What I am certain of is that this purely insensitive and not in any way intentional.
90+% of the time when someone annoys you, it is done unintentionally. The way if was phrased to me was "90% c*ck up 10% conspiracy". (and I think the 10% is hyperbole as it is probably much less).
That does not excuse a major corporation or its employees from making mistakes, it just helps to balance your personal attutude to those inevitable errors.
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by DeathSlam
Cooperation means "act together" in some supposed joint interest. Collaborate means the same thing but with the additional negative connotation of WWII 'treasonable' cooperation. However that negative connotation has been missing as an inference in the word for many decades and now collaborate is preferred and regarded as more positive as it implies acting together in a moral rather than strictly financial or forced sense.
c.f. Can we collaborate? You must cooperate.

I do not agree - it has this connotation with working with the enemy. In terms of asking people not to stand up too early or doing their seat belts it is the wrong usage.
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by DeathSlam
90+% of the time when someone annoys you, it is done unintentionally. The way if was phrased to me was "90% c*ck up 10% conspiracy". (and I think the 10% is hyperbole as it is probably much less).
That does not excuse a major corporation or its employees from making mistakes, it just helps to balance your personal attutude to those inevitable errors.
I think that we are saying the same thing - what I was trying to say that this was not any malice or bad intention behind what could be perceived as dis respectfulness. However, I am going to bow out as on reflection this is more OMNI territory than BA Forum territory even thought this happened with BA.
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 9:27 am
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BA's approach to non-English languages outside of a few far-eastern routes is to basically ignore them. It's slightly surprising to me that they never bothered to re-record the pre-recorded announcements (I believe the previous set had become very ancient).
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
I do not agree - it has this connotation with working with the enemy. In terms of asking people not to stand up too early or doing their seat belts it is the wrong usage.
I know you are robust enough to take it otherwise I wouldn't hazard this opinion, but most of the world has moved on from Allo' Allo' so I suspect your interpretation of working with the enemy is now a minority one.
That not withstanding it could still be that collaborate is the wrong word in this context as you really want to empasise the comformance with a source of authority rather than general goodwill. You will\must cooperate!
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 9:58 am
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Certainly running slightly off-topic but IB's "collaboration" is probably just a poor Google Translate from "colaboracin", which is the Spanish word for both collaboration and cooperation. ("Cooperacin" appears to be correct too but I've never heard it used in Madrid for that.)
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by hfly
I have noticed a bunch of strange things over the last year or so regarding BA flights to Istanbul, and wonder what BA is thinking................

But the craziest one I experienced the other day when after landing in Istanbul, the Purser made a special announcement that Turkey is a Muslim country and as it is the month of Ramadan it is "ILLEGAL to smoke, vape, eat or drink in public and that passengers could be subject to arrest, fines" etc.
I have never heard anything like that on TK and not last week on my last trip.
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Old Mar 28, 2024, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
I do not agree - it has this connotation with working with the enemy. In terms of asking people not to stand up too early or doing their seat belts it is the wrong usage.
It doesn't have that connotation in the US in my experience. For example, see the following excerpt from PBS's (public broadcaster) editorial standards document (p. 3 here: https://www.pbs.org/about/producing-...-standards.pdf).

"PBS is a non-profit membership organization that, in collaboration with its member stations across the country, serves the public interest through content that informs, educates, inspires, and entertains. Content distributed by PBS should reflect the highest standards of quality, demonstrate a rigorous commitment to editorial integrity unencumbered by commercial imperatives, and further societys fundamental interest in informed civil discourse."
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