At a time when many countries have turned their backs on their citizens, Turkey is moving fast to bring everyone home.

Almost every country is struggling to evacuate every single citizen stuck in different parts of the world, where novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc on public health and economy, but Turkey is trying its best to rescue its citizens. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that at least 25,000 Turkish citizens were evacuated and brought back to Turkey from 70 countries since late January.

"Upon the instructions of our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we will bring back our citizens who are stranded abroad and have requested to return home as soon as quarantine facilities are established for them," Cavusoglu said in a tweet. 

Turkey’s operation of evacuating its stranded citizens abroad is coordinated by the country's Vice President Fuat Oktay. 

The country’s first evacuation operation started on January 29, when Ankara sent a plane to Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the pandemic. 

Stranded from other countries 

Many countries have completely turned their back on their citizens stranded in different pockets of the world. 

Although India has just 12,500 cases of Covid-19 positive, it still told its citizens to stay wherever they are at present. India’s Ministry of External Affairs stated that there are 13 million Indians living abroad and the government aims to minimise the risk by not allowing those citizens who are coming from the worst-hit countries. 

At least 400,000 Indian nationals including 50,000 students in the UK, the UK government has extended their visas until May 31.

With the virus spreading across 185 countries, most of them have suspended international flights. Turkey suspended all international flights for an indefinite period as of March 27 including those to New York and many European destinations.

The US is mounting pressure on several countries, as its President Donald Trump threatened them with sanctions if they refused to take back their respective citizens. 

But Trump has been criticised by his fellow citizens for moving at a snail's pace when it comes to evacuating American nationals who are stranded in various countries. 

Source: TRT World