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(Sabah Newspaper, 14 April 2012)
Turkish Airlines (THY) has decided to add number 13 seats which it had
not been using in the course of the production of Airbus and Boeing
type aircraft because it was believed that the number was unlucky.
The company fell victim to questions raised in the Turkish Parliament
asking 'why is there no number 13 seat on THY passenger planes?' and
'is THY following Western superstitions?'. Consequently, THY recently
began the process of adding number 13 rows/seats to its planes.
THY officials stated that the first phase of refitting the 60 planes in its
Boeing 737-800 fleet has been completed but they added that it is a
complicated job. Nevertheless, they said they will try to make the change
in THY's other planes, as well.
In Christian beliefs, the 13th apostle, Judas, who sat with the other 12
apostles at the Last Supper, ratted Jesus out and Jesus was subsequently
crucified. That's why the number 13 is considered unlucky. The Jews,
though, believe that 13 is unlucky because in the Hebrew language the
13th letter 'm' is the first letter of the word 'mavet' (death). In many
hotels there is no 13th floor or number 13 room, based on the belief
that the number brings bad luck.