Turkey confirms death of 342 expats due to COVID-19

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A total of 342 overseas Turkish nationals have died due to the novel coronavirus since the beginning of the global outbreak, the country’s foreign minister said on April 18.

Speaking to private broadcaster NTV, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that Turkey was planning 105 more flights to bring its citizens back from 72 countries before the beginning of the month of Ramadan on the Islamic calendar.

He said a total of more than 25,000 had been brought back to Turkey from 74 different countries.

Çavuşoğlu also said the Executive Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation would meet via video conference next week at Turkey’s request to discuss the pandemic.

Underlining that international organizations had been ineffective amid the outbreak, Çavuşoğlu said that these organizations had not implemented a successful policy.

“We have always said that unilateral policies and trade wars are wrong. But today, the international system and organizations are outdated and need reform. These organizations can’t meet the expectations or prevent conflicts,” said Çavuşoğlu.

Noting that 116 countries requested help from Turkey, he said Ankara had sent aid to 44 of them so far.

Çavuşoğlu emphasized that Turkey’s priority was to meet its own needs, then lend other countries a helping hand.

Touching on a recent spat between the U.S. and World Health Organization (WHO), Çavuşoğlu said: “It was a mistake for the U.S. to cut financial support to WHO. Yes, WHO and the U.N. can be criticized today, but this support should not be cut in such a period.”

Çavuşoğlu added that Turkey took a proactive international role and humanitarian foreign policy.

Hurriyet Daily News

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