VP Oktay says Turkey evacuated 2,721 students
Turkey finalized the evacuation of 2,721 students who were temporarily staying and wanted to return from England, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Egypt, and Turkish Cyprus, the countries which suspended flights to Turkey, Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted on March 25.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey has already evacuated 2,987 citizens from nine European countries on March 17.
Some 188 students from Italy’s Milan Malpensa Airport landed at Samsun Çarşamba Airport in Samsun province on a Turkish Airlines flight, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Another 213 students coming from Rome Fiumicino Airport also arrived in the province. Separately, 142 Turkish citizens evacuated from London landed at Istanbul Airport.
All evacuees were referred to emptied dormitories in Samsun and Sakarya provinces. They will be placed in quarantine for 14 days as part of Turkey’s coronavirus quarantine measures.
Due to the suspension of the flights there are many foreigners stranded in Turkey, Çavuşoğlu said, adding necessary work was being conducted for their return home.
He said he had a phone talk with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the return of 21 Pakistani nationals. The minister also informed that Uzbekistan sent a plane to Turkey on March 24 to return their citizens.
32 Turks abroad died from coronavirus
Turkey’s diplomatic missions are actively working to provide assistance to the Turkish nationals abroad over the coronavirus, the minister said.
“Unfortunately, our 32 citizens, mostly in Europe, died from the novel coronavirus. Some of the families wanted to bring the corpses to Turkey. We are helping them bring the corpses by taking the necessary measures,” he said.
A 7/24 call center based at the Foreign Ministry is responding to all sort of needs to Turkish citizens abroad, Çavuşoğlu said. He said he received 3,200 messages on his social media platforms only in recent days. “We have responded to all of them one-by-one,” he stated.