Turkey evacuates students from virus-hit countries

Turkey evacuates students from virus-hit countries

Turkey evacuates students from virus-hit countries

İHA Photo

Turkey has started to evacuate its students, studying abroad, who wanted to return to their country but were unable to due to the flight bans.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu had said that some 3,358 students would be brought back from seven countries with flight bans. They will be quarantined upon their arrival, in various provinces, he had said.

On March 23, a Turkish Airlines flight with 348 students on board arrived from London's Gatwick Airport.

The students received masks to wear during the flight. 

"I was stranded in Canterbury after the borders were closed," said Can Karslıoğlu, who was studying at Kent University.

“Thanks to our government's efforts, now I’m going back home. We were very anxious, but I’m a bit relieved now. I trust my country's health system much more.”

Melike Ayaz, a Ph.D. student at Manchester University, said they could not take the last flight out because they were in a different city.

"We are now going back, thankfully. We will be quarantined and do as the health officials say. We know this is best for us and our country," she added.

There will be another flight coming out of the U.K. tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a Turkish Airlines flight with students who wanted to leave countries with flight bans left Dublin on March 24, Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran said on Twitter.

"The first Turkish Airlines flight with students from 7 different countries has taken off from Dublin. I hope you are all well. Your quarantine places are ready and waiting for you," Kiran wrote.

At the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, flights were arranged for students in the U.K., Ireland, Poland, Italy, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who wanted to come back to Turkey.

574 people under quarantine

Separately, Turkey placed 348 passengers arriving from overseas under quarantine on March 23. 

The passengers were checked by medical staff at Istanbul Airport and transferred to Sakarya province, where they will spend the next 14 days being monitored by medical staff for any coronavirus-related symptoms. 

Sociologists and psychologists will also provide support to those under quarantine. 

Furthermore, an additional 226 people, who arrived in the country from abroad, have been settled in the designated dormitories for their mandatory quarantine period.

They received health check-ups by authorized staff at the airport where they will spend the next 14 days.