Turkey, Health, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Warding off virus, Turkey seeks to protect trade ties too

Turkey is looking at ways to protect trade ties from coronavirus fallout, says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Firdevs Bulut   | 10.04.2020
Warding off virus, Turkey seeks to protect trade ties too


Turkey is looking at ways to protect trade ties from the coronavirus fallout, and cooperation is key, said the nation’s president on Friday.

"Measures against COVID-19 could affect trade badly. For that reason we are working for practical solutions for tariffs and border controls, which will make public health its priority, but will also soften the damage to trade," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a Turkish Council Summit by video link.

Stressing cooperation, he added: "Turkey is at war with an unseen enemy, and the Turkic Council Summit will help strengthen our hand in the fight with COVID-19. We are facing a global socioeconomic crisis along with the pandemic."

"We’re working to be able to carry an extra 3,500 tons of products through the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars [railway] line," Erdogan said.

"Continuing free, open, and rule-abiding international trade and cargo carriers are vital for the continuity of the supply chain," he added.

Saying that the outbreak is also affecting the communications sector, Erdogan said, "I believe our council will also play a role in developing and implementing work on cyber-security."

Turkey has implemented pioneering measures for contact-free trade at its borders to maintain international commerce.

The Turkic Council, founded in 2009 as an intergovernmental organization aiming to promote comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states, includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey. Hungary obtained observer status in 2018.

On Thursday, 96 more people died from the coronavirus in Turkey, bringing the death toll to 908, and the total number of cases to 42,282. A total of 2,142 people have so far recovered and been discharged from the hospital.

Worldwide the pandemic has claimed lives of nearly 96,000 people, and infected over 1.6 million, while more than 356,000 people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.

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