Turkey, Politics, World

Flight electronics ban related to 'business concerns'

US, UK bans on electronic devices in planes would not prevent potential terror attacks, Turkish deputy PM says

25.03.2017
Flight electronics ban related to 'business concerns'

By Hayati Akcay

ORDU, Turkey

The recently introduced U.S. and British bans on electronic devices as carry-ons in flights coming from certain countries, including Turkey, is based on "trade concerns rather than security", Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Saturday.

Speaking to reporters in the Black Sea province of Ordu, Kurtulmus said Turkey -- and in particular Istanbul -- becoming an important hub of international and intercontinental flights was "apparently upsetting some circles".

“Even if this is really for security reasons, it will not serve the intended purpose. Any person who constitutes a threat would just prefer other airports.

"Therefore, this is an extremely illogical and childish practice, which would not serve the goal of preventing possible terror attacks,” he said, adding he expected that the U.S. administration would reverse the decision, or at least, exempt Istanbul.

He also added that Turkish officials from the Foreign and Transportation ministries were involved in talks with their respective counterparts to have the decision changed.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the restriction, which forbids passengers from carrying electronic devices larger than cell phones aboard the plane, would apply to flights from 10 foreign airports in eight Muslim-majority countries, including Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport.

The U.K. later issued a similar ban on all flights from airports in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.

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