Coronavirus: Turkey urges EU to correct ‘mistake’ over COVID-19 travel list exclus

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Turkey on Wednesday urged the EU to correct the “mistake” of excluding it from the bloc’s list of safe coronavirus travel partners, saying it was disappointed by the move.

On Tuesday, Brussels produced a list of 15 countries including Australia and Morocco whose health situation was deemed safe enough to allow their citizens to travel to the EU from July 1.

But the United States was notably excluded along with Russia and Turkey.

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“The lack of Turkey’s presence on the list is disappointing,” Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

“We expect this mistake to be corrected as soon as possible,” Aksoy said, adding the decision should have been made on the basis of “objective criteria.”

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He insisted Turkey had handled the coronavirus pandemic well, pointing to the “precautions, work undertaken and success” of the Turkish authorities.

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Turkey has recorded 5,131 deaths since the first reported case of COVID-19 while nearly 200,000 people have been infected, according to health ministry figures on Tuesday.

Doctors however have raised concerns that Turkey is not following all the World Health Organization’s reporting standards.