Days after the Tata Group announced to appoint Turkish national Ilker Ayci at the helm of newly acquired Air India, the issue has raised eyebrows in the top government circuit with senior officials claiming that the Union government has not taken the announcement in good faith.
According to top government sources, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will ‘scrupulously’ carry out a thorough background check of the newly appointed CEO and MD of Air India, Ilker Ayci.
The officials claim that the move should not be looked into as any arm twisting by the government as in the past also the Central agencies have carried out similar ‘thorough background checks’ of all foreign nationals when they are appointed in the key positions of any Indian company.
“It will be the same process for the newly appointed CEO and MD too,” a senior official told TechObserver.in.
So far the MHA has not received any communication on Ayci from either the Tata group or the Civil Aviation Ministry, the nodal ministry. Once communication is received, the whole process of security clearance will begin, the sources said.
Since Ayci is a Turkish national, the MHA is expected to take help from the external intelligence agency, R&AW, for his background check. Aycı was an advisor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when the latter was mayor of Istanbul, from 1994 to 1998.
He had served Turkish Airlines as its chairman from 2015 to 2022 and was credited with turning the airline around.