Turkey eyes Nation's Gardens countrywide by 2023
Country aims to have 81M square meters of Nation's Gardens in 81 cities nationwide by its centennial, says President Erdogan
Turkey aims to have Nation’s Gardens in all 81 of the country's provinces by the year 2023, the republic's centennial, the president said Friday.
"We will cover all 81 provinces with Nation’s Gardens by 2023," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, speaking at the mass opening of 10 gardens in the capital Ankara.
"As we will mark the 100th anniversary of the republic, we are nearing our goal of bringing 81 million square meters of Nation’s Gardens to 81 provinces for our people," Erdogan added.
Erdogan said he was pleased that the Nation’s Gardens were opened on World Environment Day.
“I hail the Environment Day of all humanity with the understanding that the environment is entrusted to us for the future of our youth,” he said.
Erdogan also inspected Ankara’s Nation’s Garden, whose construction is ongoing.
Touting the power of Turkey's healthcare system, Erdogan said during the coronavirus pandemic, many countries closed themselves off from the world, and some developed countries got into “mask wars”.
But Turkey met the needs of both its own citizens as well as sent aid to over 100 other countries, said Erdogan.
He said in order to become a developed country, besides economic strength, also needed are compassion, mercy, solidarity, and humanism.
"During the outbreak, we showed the world that we are a developed country," he said.
Reiterating that a curfew for 15 Turkish provinces planned for this weekend had been cancelled, he said if needed such curfews could be taken again to stem the virus’ spread.
“Our citizens must comply with [wearing] masks, [social] distancing, and hygiene rules. Otherwise, such limitations will inevitably be on the agenda again,” Erdogan added.
On Thursday night, Turkey announced a weekend curfew in 15 provinces, but early Friday cancelled it.
Turkey has so far confirmed 176,410 COVID-19 cases. A total of 4,630 people have died and 131,778 recovered.
With coronavirus apparently on the wane, Turkey recently moved towards normalization, but cautioned the public to follow precautionary rules to prevent a second wave of the virus.
The president also hailed the military’s successful operations in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
He said the military is clearing Iraq and Syria of terrorists by waging an epic struggle against all terror groups.
Turkish cross-border operations in northern Iraq target the PKK terror group, mostly through air-backed campaigns. In northern Syria, Turkey’s military has prevented the formation of a “terrorist corridor” by the YPG/PKK and blocked its efforts to infiltrate regions liberated from terrorists.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
On recent developments in Libya, Erdogan said Turkish soldiers are on their way to achieving targeted plans with the Libyan Army.
"In their struggle together with their Libyan brothers in Libya, in the last few days, [the capital] Tripoli, Tarhuna, and the airports have all been cleared. And they are now walking towards the targeted plans," he said.
Libya’s internationally recognized government has been under attack by warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces since April 2019.
In March, the Libyan government launched Operation Peace Storm to counter attacks on the capital, and recently took control of strategic locations, including Tripoli, in a major blow to Haftar's forces.
Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Libya's new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to the military offensive by Haftar’s forces.