Four members of the Özün family from the capital Ankara, who are all pilots, spend most of the time in the air, sometimes flying together to enjoy the company of each other while doing their job, which they are all ardently passionate about.
The story of the “flying family” dates back to 1973 when Kadri Özün started a two-year flight training course at the Turkish Aeronautical Association’s (THK) Academy.
After graduation, Özün started working at the same academy as a flight instructor. Not much after, his passion for flying led him to become the manager of the Glider School, an affiliate of the academy.
There he met the “love of his life,” Zuhal Özün, who was also an instructor pilot. It was 1981 when the couple tied the knot. A year later, they had a son.
The couple named their son “Gökhür,” which means “Free Sky” in Turkish, to depict their love for flying.
A decade later, they gave birth to a baby girl. The couple named her “Gökçin,” which means “Blueish” in Turkish, symbolizing her name with the blue skies and once again expressing their love for flying.
Being born in a “flying family,” the siblings’ beliefs were no different than their parents. They became pilots, too.
The father retired in 2004 with a record of 11,000 hours in the sky, but his wife is still in the flight business, working as a “flight training manager” at the Aviation Faculty of the University of Kyrenia in North Cyprus.
“I started flying in my mother’s womb. I have been flying as a professional pilot for 21 years,” Gökhür, who is working as a “quality manager” in the same faculty with his mother.
Gökçin studied chemistry at her university, but she is not following her own profession. She is spending most of the time in the airfields.
“I have been a pilot for 11 years. In the future, I want to be a role model for Turkish women like my mom and Sabiha Gökçen [first woman aviator of the Turkish Republic],” she said.
For Zuhal Özün, it is a huge privilege to fly with your own siblings.
“I am happy that both my son and daughter chose to fly,” the mother said.
Her husband is also proud of his family. “I met my wife at the academy. First, I was her instructor, and then I became her husband. Now we all fly together,” he highlighted.
Hurriyet Daily News