US subjects Turkish Airlines, others from Middle East to electronics ban

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Pearson/Rex / Rex USA (1074422a) Turkish Airlines planes at Ataturk international airport in Istanbul Turkey Istanbul, Turkey - Jun 2012

Turkish Airlines, one of the country’s biggest companies and brands will be subject to a US ban on passengers carrying electronic devices larger than mobile phones aboard flights to the United States.

Turkish Airlines confirmed the ban in a statement on Tuesday saying that devices larger than mobile phones would not be allowed inside the cabin exempting medical devices.

US officials told Reuters that authorities would formalise the new ban in response to an unspecified terrorism threat.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday said extremists were seeking “innovative methods” to bring down jets, the BBC reported.

Bombs could be hidden in laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games, the DHS said.

The ban will affect nine airlines operating out of 10 airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Experts have criticised the ban as onerous and ineffective.

“One potential problem with this approach where you single out countries is that you ignore the extent to which the terrorist threat is kind of state-less. The terrorists have cells throughout the entire world,” the Guardian reported Paul Schwartz, professor at the University of California, Berkeley law school, saying.