Turkey suspends passenger flights with Iran
“Passenger flights between Turkey and Iran have been suspended until further notice and Iranian carriers will be allowed to transport passengers from Turkey to Iran with the condition of coming without any passengers. Turkish passengers will not be carried on these flights,” the agency said on Feb. 26, in a tweet.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Airlines temporarily suspended flights to Azerbaijan's autonomous Nakhchivan region, the company's chairman has said.
Turkey's national flag carrier continues flying to the Azerbaijani capital Baku and Ganja, the country's second-largest city, İlker Aycı said on Feb. 27.
The airline disinfected more than 250 aircraft as part of measures to fight coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, he said.
After the outbreak emerged in Iran, Turkey closed its border gates, stopped railways crossings and suspended most flights, except those from Tehran.
Some 132 Turkish citizens arrived in Ankara from Tehran on Feb. 25. Turkey has yet to see any confirmed case of the coronavirus, but that does not mean there will never be any, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Feb. 26.
Turkish Airlines also reduced its number of daily trips to Tehran to two on Feb. 25, and restricted return flights to Turkish passengers only.
Ummah pilgrimage registrations suspended
Turkey also suspended new registrations for Umrah after Saudi Arabia temporarily suspended entry into the country amid the outbreak, Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate said on Feb. 27.
"There is no change in the return dates of our Umrah pilgrims in Saudi Arabia," it said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia earlier on Feb. 27 suspended Umrah entry to all countries, local media reported.
Diyanet, however, said the Kingdom is yet to make a statement on confirmed cases in the country.
The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has sounded global alarm, with China reporting more than 2,700 deaths from the outbreak, and health experts grappling to find a cure.
Outside mainland China, the coronavirus has spread to more than 30 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.
The WHO has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.