Your theory is not borne out by the numbers.
I've always wondered about these analysis. I do not see any report on seat revenue per airport by TK.
By the way, if I remember right, your own analysis on TK TR-US flights proved ESB as more profitable than IST.
Fact is fares(the yield generated) on IST segments are higher than ESB flights to similar destination pairs.
There is no way to justify this as there is almost no city pairs exists (other than few like MUC, DOH, etc). For all other cities, price for XXX-IST-ESB is always expensive than XXX-IST.
As Mafaky rightly mentioned, it is difficult to find a J seat on QR ESB-DOH flights. And for ESB-MUC flights, generally LH ESB-MUC price is more expensive that TK ESB-IST-MUC or LH ESB-MUC-XXX prices. So LH makes the best out of ESB-MUC.
Also J seats of TK IST-ESB flights are mostly international connecting passengers (if they are not politicians).
I have posted this several times over the years, Simply put, the money with the Istanbul traveler, not Ankara.
Are you an advisor? I'm wondering. Deep TK ?
Also folks like diplomats, politicians and bureaucrats hardly ever pay premium fares. They operate under either under corporate like discount agreements their governments negotiate,
Are you kidding me?
Even if this is the case, they will make the same detour via IST any way, what is the difference?
or in case of Turkish civil servants (and military) only pay a small fraction of the regular price TK charges. Also airline like TK must wait months, if not even a year to be reimbursed for the travel from Turkish treasury.
Again, the situation remains the same for XXX-IST-ESB detour. As rich Istanbulains can spend a lot of money in cash for IST-ESB flights, let's free these flights from government civil servants that are paying a year after a small fraction, and fly them directly to their destinations to reduce financial costs.
By the way, most of the civil servants travel on account of a private company. So they are also paid in cash.
And military use their own ferry flights. They mostly have their own scheduled services to each international post (Afghanistan, Africa, etc).
ESB also tends to get disproportionate amount of Anatolian isci traffic further driving down yields.
Again, the situation is the same for XXX-IST-ESB traffic. Moreover situation has changed over the years. Perhaps in 1990s, isci traffic was an important percentage but now their share is much smaller. By the way, that isci traffic made it possible what TK is today, so TK better be respectful to them.
The future is in the skies.