Turkey has expressed “disappointment” to European Union(EU) over its decision to continue a travel ban on Turkish nationals amidst the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy conveyed Ankara’s concerns over excluding Turkey in the recent list of 15 countries that have been allowed to travel to EU states.
According to him: “Turkey’s efforts, measures and achievements made to stem the outbreak of coronavirus are evident. This decision should’ve been taken with objective criteria and while considering the country’s success, which was cited as an example by the World Health Organization and the international community”.
Emphasizing Turkey’s “exemplary solidarity with the international community during this global crisis,” Aksoy explained that the country will continue its cooperation and transparent information sharing regarding the outbreak with European institutions.
“We expect this mistake regarding travel restrictions for our citizens will be corrected as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said.
According to the bloc’s agreement, EU states will gradually lift travel restrictions for non-EU nationals, which were adopted in mid-March to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The EU will revise the list every two weeks based on epidemiological criteria, including the countries’ overall response to the novel virus, and declining infection rates.
In Turkey, decreasing daily death toll, increasing recoveries and fewer new cases paved the way toward normalization on June 1.
After originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the virus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The pandemic has infected nearly 10.5 million people worldwide, including 511,000 deaths and 5.36 million recoveries.
The US, Brazil, Russia and India currently have the highest number of cases.