Turkey brings home 349 stranded expats from Netherlands

Citizens stranded amid coronavirus restrictions on international travel

Mehmet Kumcagiz and Ilyas Gun   | 17.04.2020
Turkey brings home 349 stranded expats from Netherlands


Turkey on Friday brought back 349 stranded citizens from the Netherlands so that they can spend the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with their families.

National flag-carrier Turkish Airlines brought them home with an operation initiated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The plane which took off from capital Amsterdam landed on Samsun Carsamba Airport in the northern province of Samsun.

Expats' passport control was made inside the plane and they have been tested for COVID-19 before the flight.

One person was taken to the hospital because of a high fever.

Passengers’ suitcases were disinfected by Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

Turkish citizens thanked all Turkish officials who spent effort for them to bring back home.

Passengers will be quarantined for 14 days in student dormitories.

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.

So far, the novel coronavirus has claimed 1,769 lives in Turkey, with registered cases topping 78,546. 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 over 2.18 million, while more than 556,000 have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.’ Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Davut Demircan

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