5 March 2011 /SEYFETTIN KOÇAK
Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant played tambour with Turkish pop singer Kenan Doğulu at a gala held Thursday night to celebrate the first Turkish Airlines (THY) flight from İstanbul to Los Angeles.
THY signed a contract with Bryant in early December. Bryant had appeared as a cook in earlier THY commercials. Speaking at the gala opening, THY Chairman Hamdi Topçu said that THY will launch new flights to the US and pointed out that the İstanbul-Los Angeles flight is the longest distance one for the THY. In addition to Doğulu, famed DJ-electronic musician and neyzen (reed flute player) Mercan Dede -- aka Arkın Allen -- was on the stage in the gala held at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. The direct flights between İstanbul and Los Angeles by Boeing 777 - 300ER will take place every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The prices for the flights start at $752.