Over 2,700 Turkish students arrive home, FM Çavuşoğlu says

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Speaking about evacuations, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Wednesday 2,721 Turkish students from eight countries were brought back on 11 flights.

Turkey brought back 2,721 students from abroad last night amid the coronavirus pandemic which continues to threaten thousands across the world.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Wednesday said the students from eight different countries arrived via 11 flights.

"On March 17, 2,897 Turkish citizens from nine European countries were brought back and they have been quarantined at dormitories in Istanbul and Kocaeli," he told reporters in the capital Ankara.

He also added that Turkish students from Sudan, Egypt and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) were also brought back home and have been placed under quarantine at dormitories in Sakarya, Samsun and Sivas provinces.

He added that Turkish consulates are available 24/7 to answer any queries by Turkish expats.

"I have received 3,200 messages just via my social media account in the last few days, and we have responded to each and every one of them," he said.

A total of 32 Turkish citizens abroad have died due to coronavirus, he said and added that Turkey is continuing efforts to bring back some of the funerals home at the request of their families.

Çavuşoğlu further stated that diplomatic traffic regarding various topics including measures against COVID-19 continues via telephone conversations as he had spoken to 16 foreign ministers in the last week.

Turkish minister is also set to hold a video conference call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday.

He further said that Turkey received medical supply request from 69 countries and have sent medical equipment to 17 countries. He stressed that one must first identify and meet its own needs and then export to others.

Turkey has so far 1,872 confirmed cases of coronavirus pandemic, with the death toll at 44, according to the Health Ministry.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 170 countries and regions.

Out of more than 425,000 confirmed cases worldwide, the death toll now exceeds 18,900, while over 109,000 have recovered, according to the data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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