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4 dead as boat with 15 migrants sinks off Turkey’s Aegean Coast

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4 dead as boat with 15 migrants sinks off Turkey’s Aegean Coast

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The remaining 11 people on board were rescued, the coastguard added.

Turkish authorities sent five boats and a helicopter to rescue the migrants, whose vessel capsized off the coast of Ayvacik in the province of Canakkale.

The people on board were Afghan and Iranian nationals, state news agency Anadolu said, adding that survivors were sent to nearby hospitals.

It was immediately unclear why the boat sank.

The district of Ayvacik is close to the Greek island of Lesbos.

Migrants frequently try to reach Greece by crossing the Aegean from Turkey.

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80 pct of total COVID-19 cases in Turkey recovered: minister

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Eighty percent of the total COVID-19 cases in Turkey have recovered and the majority of the patients stayed at home without any symptoms, the Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Saturday.

“80 percent of total cases have recovered. Our newly recovered patients are nearly 2,000. The majority of patients that were diagnosed positively experience the disease without any symptoms and are at home,” he tweeted.

The total novel coronavirus cases surged to 169,218, with 878 new ones added in the past 24 hours, Koca stated, noting that 18 died in a single day, taking the death toll to 4,669.

Turkey conducted 35,846 tests for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall number of tests to 2,303,258, he stated.

He said 1,922 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, raising the total recoveries to 135,322 in Turkey since the outbreak. The minister noted that 591 patients are being treated at the intensive care units and 264 others being intubated.

Turkey reported the first COVID-19 case in the country on March 11.

Turkey and China have supported each other in the fight against COVID-19. Chinese doctors and medical experts held a video conference with Turkish counterparts to share China‘s experiences in treating coronavirus patients, protecting medical workers, and controlling the spread of the virus.

(XINHUA)

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Turkey inaugurates 10 large parks to mark World Environment Day

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Turkey on Friday inaugurated ten new national parks in several provinces across the country to mark World Environment Day, which falls on June 5 every year.

As part of the project which was developed by the government, Istanbulites acquired two new parks today, one in the Halkali neighborhood on the European part and another one in the Pendik district on the Asian side, raising the total number of their large green lots to nine.

In recent years, several beautiful groves, parks, and gardens have been opened in the city with a population of over 16 million by the efforts of local municipalities as well as the government in a move to offer excellent opportunities for the residents to relax and rest.

In May, the Istanbul Municipality inaugurated a large city forest dedicated to the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the Sariyer district on the European part. The forest has three ponds and a 12-km long walking track with three separate routes.

“This natural wonder place has been transformed into a lovely location where our citizens can come and do their daily sports very easily,” said Ekrem Imamoglu, mayor of Istanbul, at the opening ceremony held under COVID-19 confinements on May 19.

Imamoglu also issued a message on Twitter on Friday, saying that the whole world felt the value of nature once again during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

“Greener cities and living spaces that respect nature is our only options,” he noted, marking the environment day.

Another large park in the Basaksehir district of the European part of the city, meanwhile, possesses a large pond and several thematic gardens with 25 types of different plants, attracting the residents.

A fragrance garden decorated with different aromatic flowers, a color garden with various colorful blooms, and a butterfly field is among the most visited parts of the park.

Basaksehir park officials started to plant new flowers, conducting maintenance works after the reopening on Monday when the government lifted several COVID-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, two old parks in central Istanbul present a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The iconic Gezi Park neighboring the Taksim Square lures locals and tourists, and the Macka Park on a hill with a spectacular Bosphorus view in the Besiktas district presents good picnic possibilities to people during weekends.

World Environment Day is celebrated every year to foster global awareness for the protection of the environment.

(XINHUA)

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Turkish army kills 6 PKK members in SE Turkey, northern Iraq

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Turkish army killed six members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey and northern Iraq, the Turkish defense ministry and interior ministry said on Friday in two separate statements.

“Our operations against the terrorist organization PKK continue resolutely. Four PKK terrorists were neutralized by airstrikes by means of reconnaissance and surveillance in Haftanin, Avasin and Zap regions in the north of Iraq,” the ministry tweeted.

In another statement, the Turkish interior ministry said its security forces “neutralized” two terrorists in southeastern Turkey.

The local gendarmerie commandos and special forces in the Mardin province launched operations in the rural areas of Omerli district, said the ministry in a written statement.

Turkey has long been conducting operations against the PKK in southeastern Turkey and in northern Iraq where the group has hideouts. These operations are intensified in the past few months. PKK members often use northern Iraq to launch cross-border attacks in Turkey.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for over 30 years, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.

(XINHUA)

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46 detained in Turkey over failed coup

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Turkish Police on Friday detained at least 46 people, including soldiers, over their alleged links to a group accused of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016, local media reported.

Police conducted two separate operations in Turkey’s western province of Izmir and the south-eastern province of Diyarbakir to capture the suspects, according to press reports.

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Izmir ordered the detention of 31 people for allegedly using an encrypted mobile application to contact the members of the network led by United States-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, the state-run Anadolu agency said.

The Police also seized 54 laptops and several mobile phones with special software that allows them to transfer data and communicate secretly.

In Diyarbakir, the Police detained 15 soldiers for allegedly having links to the Gulen network, the NTV broadcaster said.

It noted that the operations are continuing throughout the city to catch three others at large.

The Turkish government blames Gulen and his network for being behind the failed coup in July 2016, in which 250 people were killed.

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Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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46 detained in Turkey over failed coup

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Turkish police on Friday detained at least 46 people, including soldiers, over their alleged links to a group accused of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016, local media reported.

Police conducted two separate operations in Turkey’s western province of Izmir and southeastern province of Diyarbakir to capture the suspects, according to press reports.

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Izmir ordered the detention of 31 people for allegedly using an encrypted mobile application to contact the members of the network led by United States-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, the state-run Anadolu agency said.

The police also seized 54 laptops and several mobile phones with special software that allows them to transfer data and communicate secretly.

In Diyarbakir, police detained 15 soldiers for allegedly having links to the Gulen network, the NTV broadcaster said, noting the operations are continuing throughout the city to catch three others at large.

The Turkish government blames Gulen and his network for being behind the failed coup in July 2016, in which 250 people were killed.

(XINHUA)

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Turkey reports 988 new COVID-19 cases, total at 167,410

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Turkey’s total COVID-19 cases increased to 167,410 on Thursday, with 988 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

A total of 21 people died from the novel coronavirus, taking the death toll in Turkey to 4,630, Koca tweeted.

He said that 926 patients recovered from the disease, raising the tally of recoveries in the country to 131,778.

“Our test count is over 54,000, including for screening purposes. The number of patients who need intensive care continues to decrease,” the minister said.

Turkey reported the first COVID-19 case on March 11.

Turkey and China have supported each other in the fight against COVID-19.

Chinese doctors and medical experts held a video conference with Turkish counterparts to share China‘s experiences in treating coronavirus patients, protecting medical workers, and controlling the spread of the virus.

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Turkey, Libya to enhance cooperation in Eastern Mediterranean: Turkish president

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Turkey and Libya agreed to further enhance their cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean over a deal made on maritime delimitation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

“On maritime delimitation, we aim to improve our cooperation, including exploration and drilling,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

Sarraj on Thursday met with Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara after GNA’s military said in a statement that they had regained control over Tripoli.

Erdogan welcomed the recent military success of the GNA forces.

Turkey supports the GNA both politically and militarily. Ankara deployed Turkish troops in Libya to train and advise forces loyal to Sarraj in Tripoli.

Sarraj and Erdogan discussed the ways of lifting embargos on Libya, the Turkish president said, “We are on the same page on the issue of continuation of oil exports of Libya,” he stated.

Erdogan called on international actors to prevent the “illegal” oil export of Hafter.

Sarraj expressed gratitude for Turkey’s “historical and responsible attitude.” He said they want to increase cooperation with Turkey.

Since the uprising which killed former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, Libya has been divided between the powers of GNA and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

(XINHUA)

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Erdogan says Turkey to increase support for Libya’s Serraj

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President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday  that Turkey would increase its support for Libya’s internationally recognised leader Fayez al Serraj and that the conflict there could only be resolved politically under the auspices of the UN.

In a news conference with Serraj in Ankara, Erdogan said that Turkey and Libya would also advance exploration and drilling for oil in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Erdogan said eastern commander Khalifa Haftar and his supporters are the biggest obstacle to peace.

Haftar’s forces, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt, have been attacking Tripoli since April 2019 but have been pushed back in recent months.

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Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

 

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Turkey plans to resume int’l flights to 40 countries, regions in June

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Turkey is planning to resume international flights to 40 countries in the upcoming period in June, local media reported on Thursday.

The NTV broadcaster said the first flights would be on June 10 from Istanbul to a couple of countries, including Greece, Bulgaria, Bahrain, and Qatar.

Several others, including some European and Far Eastern countries, would be included in the flight list later this month, NTV added, citing the Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Ministry.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) increased its number of domestic flights as of Thursday by taking the highest measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The flag carrier started to distribute hygiene kits containing a protective mask, disinfectant, and antiseptic tissue depending on the length of the travel to its passengers.

The THY said at a press release that the company also recruited “hygiene experts” to join cabin crews in each flight for the enforcement of all on-board hygiene and social distancing measures.

Experts will monitor the mask usage of passengers while making sure that they do not remove their masks all at once during food and beverages service, the statement said.

They will also instruct passengers about using lavatories by following the hygiene rules.

“We believe that our hygiene experts will help our passengers to feel more comfortable and relaxed about their travels,” Ilker Ayci, chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the company said at the release.

Turkey’s airline companies, the THY and Pegasus Airlines, resumed their domestic operations on Monday with a limited number of flights after two months of closure over the COVID-19 pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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