A retired deputy general manager of Türkiye's civil aviation regulator (Sivil Havacılık Genel Müdürlüğü - SHGM) has acquired Ciner Havacılık and renamed it Go Jet Aviation, sparking questions about the nature of the transaction in the country's parliament.

Oktay Erdağı bought the business jet operator in 2023 and says the purchase was made in his name "to reduce bureaucracy" on behalf of an unidentified UAE-based entity.

Earlier this year, Ulaş Karasu, deputy chairman of the Republican People's Party, raised the subject of the deal in the Grand National Assembly, questioning whether the transaction was legal.

“How was it possible for Oktay Erdağı, who started working as a civil servant in the ministry and rose to the position of deputy general director of the SHGM, to purchase a company with a capital of TRY230,416,000 lira?" (USD7.13 million), he asked.

Erdağı retired from the civil aviation authority in 2008 and went on to work as a consultant in the aviation industry. ch-aviation does not allege any wrongdoing by Erdağı. According to the Anka News Agency, he said that a Dubai entity wanting to start a business jet charter company approached him. Instead, they decided to start acquiring shares in Ciner Aviation.

Turkish law caps a foreign entity's ownership interest in an airline with a locally issued air operator's certificate (AOC) at 49%. A Turkish entity called San And San Havacılık Limited Şirketi’ne was used to buy the shares before they were transferred to Erdağı. When the acquisition closed, Türkiye's Trade Registry Gazette recorded the name change to Go Jet Aviation on June 20, 2023, and noted that Erdağı was the sole director of the business.

"There does not appear to be a partner from Dubai," Karasu said. "Has there been a fraudulent share transfer?"

After the name change, the SHGM reissued Go Jet Aviation its AOC for commercial passenger and cargo charter operations on July 28, 2023. Go Jet's website indicates that it operates a single Embraer Legacy 600.

ch-aviation has contacted Go Jet Aviation for comment.