Turkiye, Politics

Focus on foreign policy intact: Turkish comms chief

Determined not to allow Syrian regime's aggression in Idlib despite provocations, says communications director

Davut Demircan   | 21.04.2020
Focus on foreign policy intact: Turkish comms chief


Turkey's focus on foreign policy matters continues in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the country's communication director said late on Monday.

“Our government continues to be focused on the coronavirus challenge at home and abroad but we are also working on foreign policy matters such as those in Syria, Libya & the Aegean Sea. As President Erdogan indicated, the Syrian regime is trying to take advantage of the situation,” Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.

Altun stressed Turkey stands by the March 5 agreement with Russia and is determined not to allow Syrian regime's aggression in Idlib despite provocations.

He added that Turkey will continue to abide by the agreement with Libya.

"President Erdogan made it clear that the international community must support the legitimate Libyan government. Their recent advances against the putschist Haftar forces show that Turkey’s support is paying off,” he said.

He added that not only rogue regimes and putschist forces are trying to take advantage of the unprecedented circumstances which have risen due to the pandemic, but also YPG/PKK terrorists have upped the ante against Turkey.

But Turkey will continue its operations unabated, he said.

Speaking of efforts to counter the outbreak, Altun said Turkey has increased its hospital bed capacity and smoothed out its supply chain.

He also said that Turkish civil servants are on the frontline distributing necessary items to those in need.

“Turkey has increased its daily testing to around 40,000/day. There are encouraging signs (decreasing infection rate, increasing recoveries, plateauing of numbers of ICU patients and deaths) that we are ‘flattening the curve’,” he added.

Turkey on Monday confirmed 123 more deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 2,140.

The total number of registered coronavirus cases in the country surged to 90,980 as 4,674 more people tested positive for the virus.

In addition, 1,454 patients recovered on Monday, and the total number of recoveries rose to 13,430.

Turkey is distributing masks free of charge and has no shortage of medicines or respirators so far, Altun said.

“Under our President Erdogan’s instruction, our bio-science and manufacturing companies have come together to produce 5,000 respirators by the end of May,” he said.

He said that Turkey will implement a 4-day curfew in 31 major cities starting April 23, in order to curb the spread of the virus.

Altun stated that by increasing these stringent measures during the month of Ramadan, the government is hoping to get back on its feet after the Eid holiday.

“President Erdogan ordered a large-scale effort to bring back our expatriates from around the world on the condition that they agree to a 14-day quarantine. Around 25,000 Turkish citizens will be able to return to Turkey for the month of Ramadan,” the country's communication director said.

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