Covid-19 prompts Turkey to bring 25,000 expats home for Ramadan

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Covid-19 prompts Turkey to bring 25,000 expats home for Ramadan

The Turkish government has announced it is set to bring back about 25,000 citizens from 59 countries for the holy month of Ramadan.

Responding to the continued covid-19 pandemic still spreading around the world, Turkey's vice-president Fuat Oktay announced yesterday the operation will get underway immediately. The announcement follows the several emergency flights for Turkish expats over the past three weeks. 

Via Twitter, Oktay said: "With the orders of our president, we launched a large-scale operation to bring back about 25,000 of our citizens from 59 countries for them to spend the month of Ramadan and the [Eid al-Fitr] holiday with their families." 

With the orders of our president, we launched a large-scale operation to bring back about 25,000 of our citizens from 59 countries."

"Our aim is for our citizens to hopefully hug their families dearly during the holy Eid al-Fitr," the vice-president added.

"Our nation is determined; our state is strong and decisive. This nation will win this difficult struggle together, through fraternity and solidarity, like it did many times during [its] history."

Yesterday 340 expats were evacuated from London and have been placed under quarantine for two weeks. 

Ankara has confirmed that 25,000 Turkish expats have already been flown home to Turkey under emergency measures put in place by the authorities.

This year's Ramadan starts on 24 April. Turkey has some 6.5 million citizens residing abroad, the vast majority in western Europe.

Around the world as borders have closed, expats of all nationalities have faced the difficult decision of choosing between leaving their homes or remaining in limbo overseas, as II has reported.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.