Turkey seeks reversal of electronic ban on US bound flights

The airports affected by the electronics rules are served by nine airlines that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 flights a day, senior government officials said.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A security official looks at a screen displaying X-ray screened parcels in Turkish Post's (PTT) postal logistic centre at the Ataturk International airport in Istanbul, Turkey on November 6, 2010 in this file photo.

Updated Mar 22, 2017

Turkey said on Tuesday it would ask the United States to reverse a ban on electronic devices larger than mobile phones in the cabin of flights from 10 airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

"We particularly emphasise how this will not benefit the passenger and that reverse steps or a softening should be adopted," Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan told reporters, saying the decision was not right.

The Trump administration imposed restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming to the United States from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terrorism threats.

The Department of Homeland Security said passengers travelling from those airports could not bring devices larger than a cell phone, such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras, into the main cabin. Instead, they must be in checked baggage.

Heightened security 

The new restrictions were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets, officials told reporters on a conference call on Monday.

They did not provide further details on the threat.

The move would mark the latest attempt by President Donald Trump's to tighten security at US borders, after its bid to curb travel from a group of Muslim-majority nations was twice blocked by the courts.

The UK is also set to ban passengers from carrying most electronic devices on flights from certain countries in the Middle East, Sky News reported on Tuesday, following similar measures introduced in the United States.​

Sky News said the details of the British ban, which might differ from the US measures, would possibly be confirmed later on Tuesday, according to security sources.

TRTWorld and agencies