Turkey to block mobiles

ANKARA (AFP) – Turkey’s mobile phone operators will block access to the telecom network of some 500,000 unregistered handsets as part of a plan to curb smuggled or cloned devices, a senior telecommunications official said yesterday. The Turkish Telecommunications Board last year made it obligatory for all mobile phone users to register handsets by using the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, a unique code assigned to every telephone. Some 19 million people registered their smuggled or cloned devices in the allocated time, the board’s chief, Tayfun Acarer, told the Anatolia news agency. Registered users total about 38 million.