Turkey offers flights out of Egypt for citizens of other countries

Turkey offers flights out of Egypt for citizens of other countries

Turks evacuated from Egypt began arriving at İstanbul’s Atatürk Airport on Sunday. Turkish citizens travelled on flights sponsored by the government.

February 01, 2011, Tuesday/ 17:32:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has been coordinating efforts to offer assistance to those citizens of third countries who would like to leave Egypt as demonstrators pressed on with their mass campaign to topple President Hosni Mubarak.

Officials at the Turkish Embassy in Cairo and the Turkish Consulate General in Alexandria have currently been in close cooperation with Turkish Airlines (THY) staff for the evacuation of Turkish citizens, the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement released on Monday. Turkey had sent five planes to Egypt on Sunday to evacuate its citizens from the country.

“On the other hand, with demands and applications conveyed both to our ministry and to our representation in Egypt being taken into consideration, under our ministry’s coordination, preparations have been launched with related organizations and institutions at İstanbul Atatürk Airport for countries anticipating evacuation of their citizens from Egypt and for citizens of third countries who are willing to leave this country with their own resources,” the ministry said.

Ankara also announced that it has been planning to offer visa facilitation, temporary entrance arrangements for diplomatic and consular staff and to create extra capacity for transit passenger operations. Necessary precautions are being taken for probable demands by Turkish citizens and non-citizens who want to leave Egypt, for arranging extra flights and for arranging “charter flights” from Egypt to Turkey to another country, the ministry noted.

Major airlines other than THY were set to offer “charter flights” for evacuation of both Turkish citizens and non-citizens from Egypt later on Monday, according to the statement by the Foreign Ministry. Those who are willing would be able to get information from the ministry.

As of Monday morning, the number of Turks evacuated from Egypt had reached 1,444, Mehmet Ersoy, the head of the Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, said in a statement, noting that all five planes sent to Egypt had returned home. The number 1,444 includes citizens who returned home on THY’s scheduled flights on Saturday and Sunday.

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