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Turkey to bring home 25,000 stranded expats for Ramadan

Expats stranded amid coronavirus restrictions on international travel

Ahmet Sertan Usul   | 17.04.2020
Turkey to bring home 25,000 stranded expats for Ramadan


Turkey will bring back 25,000 stranded expats from 59 countries so that they can spend the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with their families.

National flag-carrier Turkish Airlines will bring them home latest by April 27 as part of an operation initiated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Earlier on Friday, Vice President Fuat Oktay announced the expat evacuation operation on Twitter.

Turkey has always stood by its people regardless of their whereabouts amid the pandemic, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives across the globe, Oktay added.

Ramadan is due to start on April 24.

Turkey’s Health Ministry will test the returnees for coronavirus.

Anyone showing symptoms will be taken to hospital, while others will be kept in quarantine for 14 days.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) will transfer people to their residence at the end of the quarantine period.

Most stranded in Germany

A total of 3,269 people will be brought back from Germany, the country with the highest figure of expats.

This is followed by Saudi Arabia with 2,201 people and the U.S. with 1,632.

A total of 1,559 people will be brought home from the U.K., 1,469 from Kuwait, 1,200 from Algeria, 863 from Ukraine, 861 from Iraq, 696 from France, 662 from Azerbaijan, 649 from the Netherlands, 543 from Canada, 540 from Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, 538 from United Arab Emirates, 488 from Poland, 455 from Spain, 380 from Russia, 394 from Northern Macedonia, 352 from Kyrgyzstan, and 341 from Switzerland.

Some other countries that will be covered by the evacuation operation are: Belgium, Malta, Egypt, Ireland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Czechia, Kosovo, Albania, Bahrain, Serbia, Italy, Sweden, Jordan, Oman, Iran, Sudan, Austria, Slovakia, Morocco, Thailand, Montenegro, Denmark, Ghana, Senegal, Benin, Qatar, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mauritania, Niger, Kenya, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Bosnia.

So far, the novel coronavirus has claimed 1,643 lives in Turkey, with registered cases topping 74,000. The country has already repatriated tens of thousands of Turkish nationals living abroad.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe and the United States.

The pandemic has killed over 147,000 people and infected some 2.18 million, while nearly 555,000 have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.

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