26,000 citizens applied for evacuation from 73 countries: VP Oktay

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Turkey is working hard to bring back its nationals stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic while working to stem its further spread, said the nation’s vice president on April 23.

“Currently we have nearly 26,000 citizens who have applied [for evacuation] from 73 countries,” Fuat Oktay told Anadolu Agency.

Oktay said that upon their return to home soil, Turkish citizens coming from abroad are spending 14 days in quarantine at 87 student dormitories in 73 of Turkey’s 81 provinces.

On combating coronavirus, Oktay said: “With its health investments, and city hospitals, Turkey was confident [in fighting the virus].”

He praised the Health Ministry for organizing infrastructure “very quickly” to battle the virus.

“At this point, we have set an example to the entire world,” Oktay added.

Until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in late May, Turkey is expected to continue to wage a serious effort against the virus, he added.

Oktay said as they hopefully bring the virus under control, Turkey can celebrate a second holiday as the Muslim world prepares to mark the Eid holiday at the end of Ramadan.

Citizens brought back from across Europe

Turkey evacuated 531 of its nationals on April 22 from European countries amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A specially arranged Turkish Airlines flight carrying 181 Turks left Moscow for Turkey.

The plane arrived in Adana, and passengers will spend 14 days in quarantine at a dormitory called Fevzi Çakmak.

At the instruction of Erdoğan and in coordination with the Foreign Ministry, Turkey will bring back nearly 25,000 citizens before Ramadan that begins later this week.

Turkey also brought home 270 citizens from North Macedonia with Ambassador to Skopje Hasan Mehmet Sekizkok and Embassy staff saying goodbye to passengers from the Skopje International Airport.

And 80 Turks left Montenegro on a Montenegro Airways flight on April 22.

Turkish Ambassador to Podgorica Songül Ozan thanked Montenegro authorities for their cooperation and said another 150 Turkish citizens would return April 24 on a Turkish Airlines flight.

About 479 Turkish expats have already returned from Montenegro.

Repatriated Turkish citizens will spend 14 days under quarantine at 87 student dormitories across Turkey.

Hurriyet Daily News

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