Turkey evacuates 260 nationals from Ethiopia
Many citizens stranded as regular flights halted due to coronavirus pandemic
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Turkey on Saturday evacuated 260 citizens from Ethiopia who were stranded due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The chartered flight departed from Bole International Airport in the capital Addis Ababa.
Earlier this month, Turkey announced a plan to evacuate 25,000 citizens stranded in 59 countries in order to enable them to join their families during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Turkey’s ambassador to Ethiopia Yaprak Alp told Anadolu Agency: “The evacuation of Turkish nationals from Ethiopia was organized in line with directives by President Erdogan.”
“The returnees are eager to join their families and take care of the elderly who need help at this time,” she aded.
Ali Tahsin, one of passengers, told Anadolu Agency they were facing many difficulties as regular flights had been suspended amid the pandemic.
“I was seeking medical treatment in Turkey and could not make it on time. For me this evacuation is lifesaving,’’ he added.
Tahsin added that he would return to the industrial consultancy business he was running for the last nine years as soon as the dust settles in Ethiopia.
According to the Turkish Embassy, there were 3,500 Turkish nationals living in Ethiopia and 500 had already left in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
The evacuees will be quarantined for 14 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus.