PH Embassy repatriates 128 Filipinos from Turkey due to coronavirus

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DAVAO CITY — A total of 128 Filipinos are now back home after their successful repatriation from Turkey through the efforts of the Philippine Embassy in Ankara and the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul.

The repatriattion was led by Philippine Ambassador to Turkey Raul S. Hernandez in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila and Turkish authorities.

Due to the global pandemic outbreak, Filipinos sought the Embassy’s assistance to return to the Philippines.

The repatriation was arranged with Turkish Airlines on a special flight (TK 4945) which departed from the Istanbul International Airport on 10 June 2020 and arrived at NAIA in Manila on 11 June 2020.

The repatriated nationals were composed of 69 land-based Filipino nationals—with 19 students, and 34 undocumented workers from provinces across Turkey from Ankara, Antalya, Bodrum, Denizli, Eskisehir, Erzincan, Gaziantep, Izmir, Istanbul, Konya, Mersin, Nevsehir, and Trabzon.

The group also include 56 sea-based workers who disembarked from different sea vessels docked in Turkish ports, namely—the MV Stella Wakamatsu, the MV HC Nadja Maria and the MV AOM Elena, and the MV Yavuz in Yalova, Tuzla in Istanbul, and Antalya, respectively; and three Filipino seafarers who signed off from their vessels—the MV Partagas and MV Orient Arrow, both in Istanbul, and the MV Golden Suek in Izmir—for emergency non-COVID-19 related medical treatments.

In his message to the Filipinos prior to boarding the Manila-bound flight, Ambassador Hernandez underscored the unwavering commitment of the Philippine Government under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte to ensure the safety and welfare of all Filipinos, both at home and those abroad.

This commitment includes the prompt assistance to distressed nationals overseas. Filipinos on their way back to the Philippines were reminded on the need for continued vigilance against the outbreak for the safety and good health of all Filipino families and communities.

The special flight also repatriated the remains of Ms. Maria Biluan, an overseas Filipino based in Ankara from Benguet, who passed away last 20 May 2020.

The repatriated kababayans expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the assistance provided by the Philippine Government through the Embassy to be able to rejoin their families and loved ones back home in these hard times.-Newsline

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