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Response to ATCA Letter from UK Secretary of State for Transport
Date: 1 June, 2017
 
Dear Mr Hasan,
 
Thank you for your communication concerning the arrangements for passengers flying from North Cyprus to the UK.
 
Firstly, please let me assure you that there has been no change of policy in the UK Government towards North Cyprus, and that the changes have nothing to do with the issue of recognition of North Cyprus.
 
As you may be aware, the UK Government recently implemented a ban on the carriage of large electronic devices, greater in size than a mobile phone, in the cabins of flights from six countries to the United Kingdom. This followed a similar but wider move by the US Government. Our decision was based on emerging intelligence and our assessment of what security measures were necessary to protect passengers against the risk of a terrorist attack. Turkey is one of these countries.
 
As a result of this change, all passengers have to be searched at the departure gate before being allowed to board the aircraft at the international departure gates at Istanbul Airport. Similar measures are now in place across the Middle East.
 
Because of this, I am afraid it is not possible to allow transit passengers coming on domestic Turkish flights to by-pass the security checks that are carried out at the departure gates. This is why passengers are now having to disembark.
 
I can assure you that there is no intention of targeting passengers from North Cyprus with an unnecessary rule change. We want to make sure that we provide them with proper protection against a genuine terrorist threat.
 
I hope you can understand the reason for the changes.
 
With best wishes
 
Chris Grayling
Secretary of State for Transport.
 
 

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