Turkey wants US laptop flights ban canceled or relaxed – minister

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Ankara is in talks with Washington seeking the reversal or softening of the new US ban on electronic devices larger than cellphones in the cabin of US-bound flights from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries, Turkey’s transport minister has said.

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“This is a wrongful measure. They shouldn’t confuse Istanbul, through which 80 million people are taking flights every year, with other cities,” the minister, Ahmet Arslan, told journalists on Tuesday.

Turkish authorities have already taken every possible precaution at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, he added.

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The transport minister believes the US ban will “decrease the level of comfort for the passengers and will lead to a drop in their numbers.”

According to Arslan, the Turkish authorities will try to settle the issue through negotiations with Washington.

“We are particularly emphasizing how this will not benefit the passengers and that reverse steps or a softening should be adopted,” he said, as cited by AFP, adding that Ankara expects the issue to be resolved in the coming days.

Last June, Istanbul’s main airport was the scene of an Islamic State-linked terror attack, in which three gunmen killed 44 and injured 239 people before blowing themselves up.

Turkey’s largest carrier, Turkish Airlines, has already informed passengers on its website that “any electronic or electrical devices larger than a cellphone or smartphone (except medical devices)” are now banned on US-bound flights.

Earlier Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s administration said that it banned electronic items bigger than a cellphone, excluding medical devices, in their cabin of US-bound flights from 10 international airports in Muslim-majority countries for security reasons.

Devices such as tablets, laptops and cameras should all be in checked baggage.

The international airports on the list included those in Cairo in Egypt; Amman in Jordan; Kuwait City in Kuwait; Casablanca in Morocco; Doha in Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as well as Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, Reuters reports.

READ MORE: UK follows US with electronic devices ban on flights from Muslim majority countries

The restrictions affect nine airlines serving those airports – Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines.

According to AP sources, the ban was prompted by reports that terror groups are planning to smuggle explosive devices in consumer electronic devices.

*(FROM THE RELIGION OF PEACE) – Syrian refugee in Germany with 4 wives, 22 kids sparks social media fuss over welfare

A Syrian refugee who claims social benefits in Germany with his four wives and 22 children has sparked debates on social media, after the German press brought his story into spotlight.

The man in question, Ghazia A. (the surname is not disclosed) fled Syria in 2015 and headed to Germany via Turkey, accompanied by his four wives and 23 children.

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According to Muslim tradition, a man is allowed to have up to four wives as long as he can support them financially. However, Germany does not officially recognize polygamy.

Ghazia had to choose one of the women as an “official” wife in order for him and the rest of the family to claim social benefits, the German magazine BILD . He opted for his “main” wife Twasif and five children, while the other three women have been officially called his “partners” by the authorities.

The man now lives in the community of Montabaur in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. His other three wives had to split the remaining children between them and were moved by the authorities into various neighboring communities, while one of the daughters married and is currently living in Saudi Arabia, BILD noted.

A neighbor of Ghazia told the news outlet that the refugee is often absent from his ‘main’ family while visiting other wives and children, living within a radius of some 50 kilometers.

“According to our religion I have the duty to visit each family equally and not to prioritize any of them,” Ghazia A. told BILD.

The story was first broke by the German media outlet  earlier this year. After being published by the respective news outlets, people on social media voiced discontent over the entire family getting social benefits.

“Of course, the #Syrian (49) lives with his 4 women & 22 children from #Social benefits, from what else?!” one person noted in a tweet.

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Reacting to the case, a German financial manager  his calculation of what the German state is paying to the entire family annually. On the website of the Employers’ Association he estimated that the refugees are getting roughly 360,000 Euro per year. There is no official confirmation on the numbers yet.

“I am practically always on my way to be with my family – yet I would gladly like to work,” the Syrian refugee told BILD. Back in his home country the man used to earn enough money with his car sharing and car service business to cover the expanses of his large family, the magazine said.

Some people on social media assumed the case is a reflection of a new reality in Germany. “The new reality in the big canton – nice Friday to you all. My neighbor has 4 women and 23 children,” one message said.

Another one claimed that the “the Syrian with 4 women and 23 children is now being sold to us as a new normality.” 

According to Guido Göbel, a local official in the community of Montabaur, covering the financial expenses for the Syrian family is not easy. However, he said that the case is an “exemption,” Rhein-Zeitung reported.

Germany welcomed some one million refugees in 2015, according to official estimates. The influx of immigrants slowed down in 2016, however.

TURKEY SAYS “MIGRANT DEAL HAS ENDED”, MAY UNLEASH MILLIONS OF REFUGEES

“Europe has not kept its promises on the migrant deal, for us that agreement has ended.”

Zero HedgeMARCH 14, 2017

As we noted moments ago, the tit-for-tat aggression resumed its escalation between Turkey and the Netherlands, with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus exclaiming from Ankara that “Europe’s politicians are under fascist, neo-nazi influence” and in response, Turkey will suspend all high-level diplomatic meetings and cancel all flight permissions for Dutch politicians.

As part of its furious response, Turkey said it would impose various travel sanctions on Dutch diplomats such as halting all high-level political discussions with the Netherlands in the wake of the Dutch government’s decision to bar two cabinet ministers from campaigning in the country. Kurtulmus said during a news conference following a weekly cabinet meeting that Ankara also is closing its air space to Dutch diplomats until the Netherlands meets Turkish requests, according to the AP.

Kurtulmus also says the Dutch ambassador to Turkey, who was traveling when the diplomatic row started, won’t be allowed to return, and said that Turkey’s government plans to advise parliament to withdraw from a Dutch-Turkish friendship group.

It was unclear what the sudden Turkish escalation means for economic ties between the two nations: as a reminder,  Dutch direct investment in Turkey amounts to $22 billion, making the Netherlands the biggest source of foreign investment with a share of 16%.  Furthermore, Turkish exports to the Netherlands totalled $3.6 billion in 2016, making it the tenth largest market for Turkish goods, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. Turkey imported $3 billion worth of Dutch goods in 2016. Should the diplomatic spat lead to a collapse in trade relations, a Turkey recession is all but assured.

Kurtulmus said the political sanctions will apply until the Netherlands takes steps to “redress” its actions. He said: “There is a crisis and a very deep one. We didn’t create this crisis or bring to this stage.”

However the most troubling development, and one which has the potential to sway the outcome of the Dutch election which will be held in less than two days, is that in the final power play aimed towards Merkel, Kurtulmus exclaimed that since “Europe has not kept its promises on the migrant deal, for us that agreement has ended.”

Which means that one year after it collected $3 billion for the migrant deal, Turkey has just voided the agreement, and the next step would be that Turkey is about to flood Europe with refugees currently held inside Turkish borders. And since by some estimates Turkey currently harbors over 2 million potential migrants, Europe’s refugee situation is about to get far worse, and as a corollary, support for anti-immigrant political organizations across the continent is about to take another step function higher.

Turkey accuses EU of ‘selective democracy & xenophobia’ in rally row

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has slammed the European Union for siding with the Netherlands in an ongoing row, accusing the bloc of exercising democratic values selectively, as well as encouraging xenophobia and anti-Turkish sentiment.

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“EU counterparts are exercising democratic values and basic rights and freedoms selectively,” the ministry said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters.

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“It is very grave for the EU to hide behind member country solidarity and stand by the Netherlands, which has clearly violated human rights and European values,” it continued.

The ministry went on to address a Monday statement by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn. It called on Turkey to refrain from “excessive statements” following the tensions of last days between Turkey and some EU member states to avoid escalating the dispute. It accused that statement of including “inaccurate assessments” and helping “the cause of extremes such as xenophobia and anti-Turkish sentiment,” as cited by Reuters.

Ankara’s intense row with the Netherlands comes after Dutch authorities prevented two Turkish ministers from staging rallies for the Turkish diaspora over the weekend, and used dogs and water cannon to break up hundreds of demonstrators waving Turkish flags outside the consulate.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused the Dutch government of acting like “Nazi remnants” for barring his ministers from addressing expatriate Turks.

The ministry’s statement comes just one day after Ankara issued diplomatic sanctions on the Netherlands, including a ban on the Dutch ambassador and barring diplomatic flights from the Netherlands.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday that the sanctions – which do not appear to include economic measures or travel restrictions for ordinary citizens – are “not too bad,” but are inappropriate as the Dutch have more to be angry about.

READ MORE: Erdogan calls Merkel a ‘terrorist supporter,’ says Turkey will go to ECHR over Netherlands rally row

Erdogan is seeking the support of Turks living abroad, urging them to vote ‘yes’ in an April 16 referendum which would boost his powers as head of state. The proposed constitutional changes were slammed as a “dangerous step backwards for democracy” by a panel of legal experts at the Council of Europe on Friday.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag responded to the criticism earlier on Tuesday, tweeting that the panel – known as the Venice Commission – has “abandoned its objectivity and expertise, lost its impartiality, become politicized, and stained its prestige.”

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The proposed legislation would enable Erdogan to issue decrees, declare emergency rule, appoint ministers and state officials, and dissolve parliament. Critics say it will remove the system of checks and balances.

However, Erdogan says political change is needed in order to tackle security threats including Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and Kurdish militant bombings.

Erdogan calls Merkel a ‘terrorist supporter,’ says Turkey will go to ECHR over Netherlands rally row

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Turkey will challenge the Netherlands in the European Court of Human Rights over its refusal to allow Turkish officials to enter the country and deliver campaign speeches, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned.

In an interview with A Haber television following a cabinet meeting in Ankara on Monday evening, the Turkish leader also promised to deploy “whatever sanctions we have” and to “hold the Netherlands accountable,” as quoted by Reuters.

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Erdogan also repeated an earlier charge, accusing Germany, another country where speeches by Turkish politicians were canceled, of mercilessly supporting terrorism.

“Mrs Merkel, why are you hiding terrorists in your country?… Why are you not doing anything?” said Erdogan, adding that 4,500 dossiers sent by Ankara of mostly Kurdish terror suspects have not resulted in extraditions. “Mrs Merkel, you are supporting terrorists.”

When told of Erdogan’s comments, Merkel immediately branded them “absurd.”

The Turkish leader had previously said the German consulate in Istanbul was “aiding and abetting” terrorism, when it harbored the German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel for a month, before handing him over to the authorities. Yucel has been charged with terrorist activities and incitement, partly for covering the Kurdish PKK separatists, coinciding with vociferous protests from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Georgetown Islamic Studies Professor Jonathan Brown: Slavery OK, So is Non-Consensual Sex

By Pamela Geller

Cornered by the negative publicity surrounding this lecture, this academic savage is now denying that he said these things. However, video of his talk is available, and as Robert Spencer has discovered, he said the same things on Facebook in 2015 (he has now taken down his Facebook page).

If Jonathan Brown were anything but a Muslim, he would have been repudiated and fired by Georgetown University by now. The fact that he has not been and will not be shows how much academia has degenerated.

A professor at Georgetown University is teaching his students that men do not need consent to have sex with women, and that slavery is justifiable under Islamic teachings.

Islamic Studies professor Jonathan Brown recently lectured at the International Institute of Islamic Thought, where he shared his alarming beliefs with students in attendance in his lecture, “Islam and the Problem of Slavery.” Freelance writer Umar Lee expressed his shock over the 90-minute lecture, which included explicit endorsements of rape and slavery.

Brown himself uploaded the lecture to YouTube.

According to Lee, Brown’s lecture was supposed to revolve around slavery in Islam, but the lecturer moved its focus to criticize the United States, United Kingdom and China. Brown described slavery in these non-Muslim societies as brutal, which they were, but lauded the historically inhumane practice in Arab lands and Turkey.

“Indeed, according to Brown, slaves in the Muslim world lived a pretty good life,” wrote Lee. “I thought the Muslim community was done with this dishonest North Korean style of propaganda. Obviously not.”…

The Islamic Studies professor said that in Muslim societies, “slavery wasn’t racialized,” unlike the United States. Lee points out that this is untrue, given that in the Arab world, black people are referred to as “abeed,” the Arab word for “slave.”Brown stated that slaves were “protected by Sharia,” omitting the various atrocities committed by slave-owners. Girls and women were forced into the sex trade and their male counterparts were often castrated.

“In general you don’t find the brutality that you see in American slavery,” said Brown, who described the historically common practice as “investments” and “walking venture properties” for slave-owners….

Historically, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams conducted warfare against vassal states of the Ottoman Empire to end the Barbary slave trade, in which North African pirates conducted constant raids into European coastal towns to capture men and women for slavery.Brown defended slavery, stating, “It’s not immoral for one human to own another human” by comparing it to marriage—a quid pro quo arrangement in which both slave and master benefited from the arrangement.

“I don’t think it’s morally evil to own somebody because we own lots of people all around us and we’re owned by people,” said Brown.

A female attendee asked Brown about the permissibility of sex with slaves, to which the professor stated that “Consent isn’t necessary for lawful sex,” and defined consent as a Western concept that emerged with women’s suffrage and female body autonomy. Brown, he said, believes that marital rape was an invalid concept in Islam.

Had Prof. Brown’s words been spoken by a practicing member of any other religion, they would’ve lost their jobs and shunned out of the academic world.

MASS SHOOTING at Fort Lauderdale Airport UPDATE: 5 Dead, 9 Shot

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Another airport attack. Brussels, Turkey….

UPDATE: MORE SHOOTING in Fort Lauderdale garage, people ordered down, “no sudden movements,” “stay still,” shots heard.

UPDATE: Eyewitness John Schlicher said the gunmen shot people in the head and continued to shoot them after they were motionless on the ground.

UPDATE: 5 people have died in this shooting at -Hollywood Airport.”

I was just there. As many as three dead at Ft. Lauderdale Int’l Airport, U.S. law enforcement official tells CBS News; shooter is in custody.

A gunman is in custody after a deadly shooting at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport.

Sources tell NBC Miami that nine people have been shot and three people have died.

An airport spokesman said that the center of the incident was in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2. It does not appear that the shooter breached the TSA-secured area of the airport.

Video from the airport Friday afternoon showed hundreds of passengers corralled together on the tarmac with emergency vehicles parked outside the terminal with lights flashing(DM)

Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting Live Updates: Victims, Lockdown Reported In Florida

“I’m at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Shots have been fired. Everyone is running,” Fleischer tweeted Friday afternoon. He later followed up, tweeting, “The police said there is one shooter and five victims.”capture

NY Post: A gunman opened fire inside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Friday afternoon, killing at least one person and injuring eight others, according to reports.

The shooter was taken into custody, law enforcement sources told NBC News. One of the victims was shot in the head, according to a Sun Sentinel reporter

 The airport tweeted about 1:15 p.m. that there is “an ongoing incident in Terminal 2, Baggage Claim.”

Twitter users reported being returned to planes amid the chaos.

“Shots have been fired. Everyone is running,” ex-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted.

Another user tweeted out a grisly image that appeared to show a man bleeding on the sidewalk outside the terminal.capturecapturecapture