Chief Marketing Officer
"Selfie" was the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2013, and global figures from Pope Francis to President Obama have certainly helped with broader notoriety. However, Turkish Airlines, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, also understands something about the power of “selfies.”
As part of an expanded marketing effort, international sports megastars Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi, both global brand ambassadors for Turkish Airlines, are appearing in a new ad campaign entitled “Widen Your World,” to run in the US and in more than 170 countries worldwide. The commercial highlights the global network of the airline as Kobe and Messi resume a friendly rivalry by trading “selfies” from far-flung Turkish Airlines destinations--including Moscow’s Red Square, The Great Wall of China, the Maldives, Bangkok, Mount Kilimanjaro, and of course, Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul.
Faruk Çizmecioğlu, Chief Marketing Officer and Board Member of Turkish Airlines, has brilliantly championed the company’s ambitions to be a major player in the highly-competitive international airline industry. He proudly underscores how Turkish Airlines is at the “top of its game,” with 241 global destinations and counting-- just like Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi.
With flights to this extraordinary number of international cities, the airline is now the 4th largest carrier in the world when ranked by number of destinations. Established in 1933 with a fleet of only five airplanes, Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines is today a four star airline with a fleet of 230 aircraft (passenger and cargo) flying to 42 domestic and 199 international destinations. One of the fastest growing airline companies, it has received several “Passengers Choice Awards” from the consumer ranking group, Skytrax. Based on 2013 results, Turkish Airlines has been chosen "Best Airline in Europe" for the third year running, and continued to be “Best Airline in Southern Europe” for the fifth consecutive year.
Despite this stunning growth and consistent accolades, Faruk Çizmecioğlu has larger global aspirations. In 2013, Turkish Airlines not only secured basketball great Kobe Bryant and European soccer star Lionel Messi for their attention-getting “battle of the selfies” spot, but also signed a three-year, $9 million deal with Tiger Woods to compete in the Turkish Airlines Open through 2016.
As CMO Faruk Çizmecioğlu proudly presented these lucrative sports partnerships to the world, he also emphasized the airline’s investment in an expanded fleet of aircraft, an emphasis on quality service, a digital platform for global business travelers, and of course, a convenient central hub in Istanbul-- at the historic, and now modern, crossroads of Europe and Asia.
Çizmecioğlu started his career at Turkish Airlines in 2004 Senior Vice President Marketing, and then was appointed Chief Marketing Officer in 2010. Before joining the fast-growing airline, he spent six years at the Renault car company in Turkey.
Without question, we’ll continue to keep an eye on Faruk Çizmecioğlu’s many goals and extraordinary accomplishments.