Turkey repatriates 1,286 nationals over virus

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Turkey brought back a total of 1,286 of its nationals from four African nations and Arab countries on April 26 as part of its ongoing repatriation efforts for Ramadan amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 207 Turkish nationals returning from Somalia and Djibouti on a special Turkish Airlines flight arrived at Turkey’s Nevşehir-Kapadokya Airport.

After health checks, they were sent to Nevşehir and Niğde provinces for quarantine.

A total of 133 citizens and 10 North Macedonians returned from Nigeria and Ghana on another Turkish Airlines flight which arrived in İzmir province.

Following mandatory health checks, they were transported to Aydın province to be quarantined for two weeks at a dormitory.

Meanwhile, 166 Turkish citizens landed in Istanbul from Senegal and Mauritania and were sent to Düzce province for quarantine.

“We have brought back 618 citizens who were waiting to return home in Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran said late on April 26 on Twitter.

In addition, 162 Turkish citizens who were brought back from Qatar on different flights landed in Ankara.

Turkey has so far repatriated more than 60,000 citizens, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a tweet.

76 Turkish patients evacuated from abroad in 2019

In the meantime, Çavuşoğlu said on April 26 that at least 76 Turkish citizens who got ill abroad were evacuated and brought home in 2019.

“Some 84 citizens who got ill abroad in 2018 and 76 citizens in 2019 were brought to our country by air ambulance,” he said.

The minister’s remarks came after Turkey evacuated one of its citizens from Sweden who contracted the novel coronavirus but was not given treatment.

“Brother Emrullah, welcome to our country. We have never left our citizens alone, no matter where in the world and we will not [leave them alone],” he said.

In Malmo, Sweden, Emrullah Gülüşken tested positive for COVID-19 but was denied treatment by authorities. His daughters Leyla and Samira shared posts on social media, asking for help.

Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca took swift action, and brought the family back.

A Turkish air ambulance left Malmo Airport at 9 a.m. local time (0700GMT) to bring stranded Gülüşken and his family from Sweden and arrived at the Ankara Esenboğa Airport at 1.30 p.m. local time (1030GMT).

After routine health checks, the patient and his three children were taken to Ankara City Hospital.

Hurriyet Daily News

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