Coronavirus: Turkey to evacuate more than 3,600 from 9 European countries

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Mevlut Cavusoglu

TURKEY would have evacuated more than 3,600 nationals in nine European countries by midnight on Tuesday amid the spread of novel coronavirus, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

A total of 3,614 citizens, either visiting or studying, in nine European countries, will be flown back on 34 separate Turkish Airlines flights, Cavusoglu told a news conference in Ankara.

The evacuees will be placed under a 14-day quarantine at dormitories in Istanbul and in the city of Kocaeli, about 100 kilometres to the east.

The nine countries – Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands – are among the 20 states to which Turkey had halted flights.

The number of confirmed cases in Turkey currently stands at 47.

Cavusoglu said Turkish nationals in Britain would separately be evacuated on Tuesday, without giving an exact figure.

There are also “around 1,500” Turks in Morocco, whom Ankara is considering to evacuate, the Turkish minister said.

Turkey has already closed schools and universities. It has closed indoor venues, including cafes, restaurants, and cinemas, and quarantined thousands of pilgrims returning from Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

There was no indication of how long these measures would last.

President Recep Erdogan will on Wednesday address the nation on next steps to be taken, his Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said late Monday. (dpa/NAN)

– Mar. 17, 2020 @ 11:35 GMT |

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