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Turkey to end nationwide curfew as of July 1, President Erdoğan says

Speaking at a press conference following the Cabinet meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the decision that would end to nationwide curfew after a sharp fall in infection rate.

Anadolu Agency TURKEY
Published June 21,2021
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Turkey is set to end pandemic curfews as of next Thursday, July 1, amid a nationwide fall in COVID-19 cases, the country's president announced on Monday.

On the same day Turkey will also lift intercity travel restrictions and restrictions on urban public transport, said Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after a three-hour-plus Cabinet meeting at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.

Thanks to the drop in virus cases, Turkey will return to normal working order in public institutions and organizations as of July 1, he told reporters.

But Erdoğan also stressed how "vital" it is for everyone to get jabs when their turn comes in the vaccination drive the country launched in mid-January.

On June 1, Turkey eased some measures to fight the virus as the number of coronavirus cases in the country began dropping following a 17-day lockdown.

TURKEY-US RELATIONS

On relations between Turkey and the US, Erdoğan said the two countries are ushering in a new era on a "positive and constructive basis" following last week's meeting with US President Joe Biden during a NATO summit in Brussels.

Turkey is determined to transform the "beautiful climate" achieved with Biden into maximum benefit for both countries, he added.

Following the meeting, Biden said he had a "very good meeting" with his Turkish counterpart.

The one-on-one meeting at NATO headquarters lasted for 45 minutes-the first time the leaders met since Biden took office this January.

NAGORNO-KARABAKH VICTORY

Reviewing his visit last week to Azerbaijan, Erdoğan said the meaning of that country's victory in Nagorno-Karabakh both for Azerbaijan and the region will be become clearer in the years to come.

Azerbaijan's victory last fall foiled "the games of those who make the world a tool for their political and economic ambitions," he said, adding that its neighbor Armenia will be one of those who benefit the most from regional peace and stability, if they seize the opportunity that comes their way.

"The sincere affection of our Azerbaijani brothers and sisters during the two days we spent there also made us happy. Hopefully, all of us together will make this process the beginning of a new era in the Caucasus."

During a 44-day conflict last fall, which ended in a Moscow-brokered truce on Nov. 10, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages in Nagorno-Karabakh (Upper Karabakh) from Armenia's nearly three-decade occupation.

The cease-fire is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.