Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world. 

Coronavirus and other developments in Turkey

Turkey reported 7,909 new coronavirus cases Thursday, including 627 symptomatic patients, according to data released by the Health Ministry. The country’s case count topped 2.5 million, while nationwide fatalities reached 26,467 with 113 deaths over the past day.

The number of people in Turkey who have received their first dose of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus crossed the 2.5 million mark as of Thursday, according to official figures.

The number of university students in Turkey increased from 1.6 million to 8.4 million over an 18-year period, said the country’s president.

Turkey’s first indigenously produced maritime missile Atmaca was tested in the Black Sea region. Testing activities of the Atmaca, a long-range anti-ship missile developed by Roketsan, were carried out in northern Sinop province, according to the city governorate.

Turkey’s communications director shared a video on Twitter on recent developments regarding ongoing protests at Bogazici University in Istanbul.

A total of 73 terrorists were neutralized in Turkey’s domestic anti-terror operations in January, according to a government official.

A top-level visit from Turkey to Bangladesh in the coming months is expected to open up a wide range of opportunities in bilateral relations, boosting trade, investment and understanding. You can find an exclusive interview with Bangladesh’s Ambassador to Turkey here.

Fenerbahce Opet Women’s Volleyball team star Eda Erdem Dundar was named one of the 100 greatest players, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) announced Thursday.

The European Union welcomes the Turkish government’s recently announced reform agenda, a senior diplomat said while visiting Turkey’s central province of Kayseri.

The YPG/PKK terror organization does not have an office in Moscow, the counsellor of the Russian Embassy in Ankara said.

Turkey dispatched a shipment of mine clearing equipment to Azerbaijan.

Another family was reunited with their son kidnapped by the PKK terror group in southeastern Turkey.

COVID-19 updates worldwide

US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting emergency use authorization for its single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Ethiopia is planning to vaccinate 20% of its population against the COVID-19 pandemic by the end of 2021, said the country’s top health expert.

The emergence of new strains of the novel coronavirus will not diminish the effectiveness of inactive vaccines against the pandemic, according to a Turkish doctor.

South Africa recorded 3,751 new coronavirus cases in a day, taking the country’s total to 1,466,767, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.

UK residents returning from countries on the government’s “red list” will have to remain in quarantine at hotels from Feb.15. Self-isolation for residents and nationals coming back to the UK from all countries in South America and southern Africa, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates will be mandatory for 10 days.

A total of 20,634 people in the UK tested positive for the coronavirus, taking the nationwide tally of cases past 3.892 million.

Germany’s leading ethical council advised against giving special privileges or advantages to people who are vaccinated against COVID-19.

As fear over the coronavirus mounted and infections climbed worldwide, global air passenger traffic fell by 65.9% in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to a leading trade group.

Palestine’s Health Ministry said it has received 10,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

Restrictions and preventive measures imposed by France have been successful in keeping the coronavirus pandemic under control even as the neighboring European countries are struggling with a virulent second wave, Prime Minister Jean Castex said.

New coronavirus infections in Spain dropped to just below 30,000 as Catalonia announced one of Spain’s first moves toward relaxing measures after the third wave.

Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Oman announced more coronavirus infections and fatalities as efforts continue to contain the disease.

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube backtracked on his statement made Wednesday that the coronavirus vaccine will not be free for the country’s citizens.

Zimbabwe’s president said his government is targeting to vaccinate 60% of its roughly 15 million people with help from China and other players.

Owing to high demand, free COVID-19 tests by the government have been halted in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the Health Ministry said.

A Cuban drug developed by the country’s Center for Molecular Immunology has shown “positive results” in treating patients with the coronavirus, according to the latest study by the Public Health Ministry.

Other developments

The UN Security Council has voiced “deep concern” over the situation in Myanmar after the military overthrew the civilian government and jailed political and civil society leaders.

US President Joe Biden said he would sign off on dramatically raising the level of refugee admissions to the country after his predecessor worked year after year to draw down the figure.

The US House of Representatives voted Thursday evening to strip Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments in response to extremist rhetoric she previously espoused.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the US’ concern about the situation in the Tigray region during a phone call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

President Joe Biden froze a drawdown of US forces in Germany ordered by his predecessor as he directed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to conduct a global review of US forces.

Turkey and Kazakhstan discussed opportunities to strengthen cooperation in the defense industry sector.

Greece and Turkey are “valued allies” and NATO’s role is to provide a platform to address differences between the two countries, the alliance’s chief said Thursday.

A French court sentenced the perpetrator of the 2017 fire in Mulhouse to 25 years in prison. Six people, four of them Turkish, died in the fire in an apartment building. Two Algerian nationals also died.

A street protest erupted in Myanmar’s second largest city Mandalay, the first such response after the military’s coup in the country.

The military coup in Myanmar will have an impact on regional security, especially in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, Indonesian experts on Southeast Asian affairs said.

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have opposed the military coup in their home country Myanmar, saying they are worried about the safety of their loved ones.

Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar received UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.

Former US President Donald Trump’s legal team rejected calls for him to testify at his Senate impeachment trial.

Local authorities in Mexico’s northeastern state of Tamaulipas freed 49 migrants at an abandoned property near an area where 19 people were murdered last month.

Turkey will do whatever needed to prevent the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) from harming its relations with Albania, the visiting Turkish parliament speaker said.

The US and Russian envoys to the UN Conference on Disarmament hailed the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), telling the arms control body the accord serves the interests of both countries.

A Belgian court sentenced Iranian diplomat Assadolah Assadi to 20 years in prison for attempting a bomb attack.

The International Criminal Court convicted Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan child soldier-turned rebel commander, of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A former UN human rights rapporteur and international law expert at US-based Princeton University said a “peaceful future” in the Palestinian issue “will not arise until Israel dismantles apartheid.”

NATO’s secretary general said the alliance’s presence in Afghanistan is a decision that should be made with consensus.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his Hungarian counterpart Tibor Benko met in Hungary’s capital Budapest to discuss issues of defense and security along with areas of military cooperation.

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