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Thu, Dec 14, 2006

Turkish Airline Workers In Trouble For Unusual Celebration

Sacrifice Camel On Ramp In Thanks For Dumping Avros

If you happen to be reading this story over breakfast (we can't be the only ones who eat at our computers. And sleep. -- Ed.), we suggest you put down the fork before this story.

A crew of mechanics in Turkey were apparently so thrilled to finally be rid of some trouble-prone Avro airliners, that they sacrificed a camel on the tarmac at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport in celebration.

Animal sacrifice is a traditional way for Turks to thank God when their prayers come true... and the return of 11 Avro RJ100 airliners evidently qualified. Turkish Airlines employees say the planes frequently broke down.

The camel was sacrificed Tuesday -- again, we note, right on the tarmac -- and about 1,540 pounds of meat were distributed among the staff. A grisly photo of the celebration was published on the front page of at least two newspapers.

That drew the wrath of airport authorities, who promptly fired the employee supervisor who authorized the slaughter. Several others face disciplinary measures.

"No one should do such a thing just because an airline has rid itself of some aircraft," airport manager Vedat Muftuoglu was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

The incident also sparked controversy among lawmakers in Turkey. As one of them put it... is the image of a bloodied camel carcass something Turkish officials want for their country, as it seeks to join the European Union?

In any case... the next time you're eating lunch at your favorite airport restaurant, if the server asks if you'd like one hump or two... just ask for the check. No, on second thought... run out.

FMI: www.turkishairlines.com

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