Published May 09, 2013
It looks like Turkish Airlines is backpedaling on its controversial ban on flight attendants wearing red lipstick.
“Lipstick-gate” --as it has been called--came about when a memo from the airline's Media Relations department was sent around last week, forbidding flight crew from wearing red cosmetics. - has taken another twist with the carrier's boss calling the ban “a mistake”.
A week ago the airline's Media Relations department issued a statement on the use of red or dark-pink lipstick and nail varnish by cabin crew. It said the practice "impairs the visual integrity of the intended look". As a result, said the statement: "Turkish Airlines has adopted a policy that requires service personnel to use personal grooming products that are in a more muted colour palate."
But Dr Temel Kotil, the airline's president and chief executive, told The Independent: "It was not a decision actually, there's no approval". He said that a paper on appearance standards prepared by "low-level" managers had appeared in the media, adding "This is taking us one step back but we're going four steps forward".
Recent changes at Turkish Airlines, like no longer serving alcohol to economy passengers on many domestic flights and banning bleached hair for its flight attendants, have raised concerns among secular Turks that the carrier is becoming more Islamic.
Numerous women protested last week's red lipstick ban, posting pictures of themselves wearing bright red lipstick on social media websites.
One Twitter user wrote: "Well, I certainly wouldn't choose your airline to get there anymore! I'll proudly wear my bright colored lipstick!"