Turkish Air Force closes doors on women applicants in latest recruitment

The Turkish Air Force, which in 1937 featured the world’s first woman fighter pilot in its ranks, announced that it will no longer be recruiting female pilots, Turkish Sözcü daily reported.

The Air Force has indicated a male-only prerequisite in its latest recruitment application Sözcü said, noting that male applicants should be a graduates of a four-year university program.

The news comes a surprise in the country where a woman, Esra Özatay, was appointed as head of the Turkish Stars aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force earlier in the year and Sabiha Gökçen became the first female fighter pilot in military history.

Women’s groups reacted to the decision, with the Air Forces and Defence Ministry being bombarded with criticism on social media, Sözcü reported.

‘’How many women in total apply to become a pilot with the Turkish Air Force anyway?’’ one Twitter user asked.  “Why would you resort to such gender discrimination?’’