Turkey‘s vice president said on early March 18 that some 2,807 Turkish citizens have been brought home at their request from nine European countries Turkey imposed a travel ban from amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Fuat Oktay said in a tweet that the evacuation was completed at 6.00 a.m. (0300GMT) local time (GMT0300). He said that the returnees will be put under 14-day quarantine in large dormitories located in the Istanbul and Kocaeli provinces.
“All measures for their health, safety, nutrition, and accommodation have been taken in line with the rules set by the Health Ministry and Science Board [for coronavirus],” Oktay said.
Turkey banned entry from Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The first plane carrying 108 Turkish citizens from Munich, Germany, arrived in Istanbul on March 17.
An expedition was launched for the return of Turkish citizens in these countries who were there for business, visiting family or education.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on March 17 that some 3,614 Turks from nine European countries will return to Turkey until midnight.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) will be addressing their needs during the quarantine, Çavuşoğlu added.
23 countries requested equipment aid
Çavuşoğlu said that 23 countries have requested aid for coronavirus equipment and Turkey has sent help to some countries.
“We are cooperating with the Health Ministry for the worst-case scenario,” he said.
“It is important to determine our needs, in the worst case, and support [other countries]. Our own needs are important,” he added.
On March 11, Turkey became the last major economy to report a case of the coronavirus.
Turkey reported its first fatality from the coronavirus on late March 17. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the deceased was an 89-year-old man who contracting the virus from someone who had contact with China.
Koca also announced 51 newly confirmed cases late on March 17, bringing the total to 98.
The Turkish government has been implementing strict measures since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, from flight bans to schools temporarily closing.