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 has administered nearly 27 million coronavirus vaccine doses since launching a mass vaccination campaign on Jan. 14, according to the latest official figures announced by its health ministry.

In total, more than 15.45 million people have received their first doses, while nearly 11.5 million have been fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

The Health Ministry also confirmed 11,533 infections, including 902 asymptomatic patients in the past 24 hours.

As many as 9,271 additional patients won the battle against the virus, taking the number of recoveries to more than 4.98 million.

Meanwhile, the nationwide death toll reached 45,419, with 233 more fatalities.

Turkey celebrated the Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day, a milestone at the beginning of Turkey’s War of Independence on May 19, 1919, with the arrival of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the Black Sea province of Samsun.

President Erdogan spoke at an event where he stated Turkey’s support for Palestine and the country’s successful struggle against the pandemic, among other things.

In the scope of the war against terrorism, Turkey “neutralized” at least three PKK terrorists in northern Iraq and arrested 25 PKK terror suspects in nationwide operations.

Turkey strongly reacted to a US State Department statement that condemned Erdogan’s “anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people.”

The Foreign Ministry called on the US to work to halt Israel’s incessant attacks on Palestinian civilians, instead of leveling false accusations at the Turkish leader. It noted in a statement that anti-Semitism should not be used to cover up Israel’s ethnic, religious and cultural cleansing policies.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin called attempts to associate Erdogan with anti-Semitism “tragicomic.”

“The sensitivity of our President to both Jewish Holocaust and the protection of the rights of the Jewish community in Turkey is clear. The biggest witnesses to this are the representatives of the Jewish and other minority communities in Turkey,” he said.

Turkey’s Jewish community responded to the State Department’s statement on Twitter by saying: “While tragedies in the region are deeply saddening – & global rise of anti-Semitism is unacceptable- it is unfair & reprehensible to imply that President Erdogan is antisemitic. On the contrary, he has always been constructive, supportive & encouraging towards us.”  

Coronavirus developments worldwide

More than 1.53 billion vaccine shots have been administered worldwide, figures by the Our World in Data showed.

China is the most vaccinated country with nearly 435.69 million jabs, according to the website data. It is followed by the US with more than 275.54 million.

India reported its highest daily figure for deaths from the coronavirus with 4,529 fatalities. The nationwide tally stands at 283,248.

As India bans the export of COVID-19 vaccines, Kenya and other East African countries are reportedly running out of stock, raising panic across the region, Kenyan sources reported.

France announced that several public places are set to reopen after six months of restrictions because of a surge in infections.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there is growing confidence that vaccines used to fight the virus are effective against all variants.  

Israeli aggression against Palestinians

The death toll in the besieged enclave of Gaza rose to 227, including 64 children and 38 women, as a result of ongoing Israeli attacks.

Meeting with Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Alexander Ben Zvi, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov expressed deep concern about escalating tensions in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip and told the Israeli envoy that an uptick in Palestinian civilian deaths would be unacceptable.

Follows a tri-party meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron, Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II encouraged Israel and Palestine to immediately agree to a cease-fire and end the escalating conflict that has killed hundreds of civilians.

The UN refugee agency called on Israel to allow “timely” passage of humanitarian aid and staff into the besieged Gaza Strip amid Israeli attacks on the Palestinian territory.

Anadolu Agency photojournalist Mohammad Dahlan sustained shrapnel injures from an Israeli missile attack on the Gaza Strip. Dahlan was wounded in the leg when the missile struck a house in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City.

More than one dozen Indians in India, including former lawmakers who came under the banner “Indian Friends for Palestine,” addressed a virtual news meeting and demanded the international community step in to stop Israel attacks  

Other world developments

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev discussed an incident on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border in a telephone conversation. They stressed that they are in favor of resolving the issue through political and diplomatic means, according to a Kremlin statement.

Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the construction of the Tianwan and Xudapunuclear power plants in China with Russian technology.

At least four soldiers were killed and several others were injured in a roadside bomb blast targeting a military vehicle in southern Somalia. The Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attack.

EU member states agreed on a coordinated approach to open the bloc’s borders to non-EU nationals who have received any of the EU-approved COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson​​​​​​​.

Spain sent around 4,800 of the 8,000 migrants who crossed into its African enclave of Ceuta back to Morocco, according to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

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