Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world.
On the diplomatic front, Turkish Ambassador Volkan Bozkir officially assumed the presidency of the UN General Assembly, saying: “I am proud on behalf of my country, nation and person. I will work to exhibit an effective and distinctive Presidency.”
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke by phone with his American counterpart Mike Pompeo. They discussed developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, where tensions have been high recently.
Greece has disputed Turkey’s energy exploration in the region, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.
Turkey — the country with the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean — has sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have rights in the region.
In order to reduce tensions, Turkey has called for dialogue to ensure the fair sharing of resources.
Turkish security forces neutralized 11 YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria who opened harassing fire and attempted to infiltrate anti-terror operation areas. Three other terrorists were also neutralized in southeastern Turkey.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Meanwhile, a protest by families against the PKK terror group, which they accuse of kidnapping their children, reached its 379th day. The families are determined and hopeful for the return of their children.
Turkey is maintaining anti-terror operations against FETO, the terror group responsible for the deadly defeated coup of 2016, and at least 83 suspects were arrested Tuesday.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
The Turkish Coast Guard rescued a total of 67 asylum seekers in the Aegean who were pushed back by the Greek coastal authorities.
COVID-19 outbreak worldwide
Since originating in Wuhan, China in December, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 931,000 lives in 188 countries and regions. The US, India, Brazil and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries.
Over 29 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 19.9 million, according to data from US-based Johns Hopkins University.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to affect the international community, the Americas account for half of the world’s COVID-19 cases, with five Latin American countries among the world’s top 10 in terms of infections.
Diplomacy and other developments
At a White House ceremony presided over by US President Donald Trump, Israel formally signed deals to normalize diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
While Trump said he believed Saudi Arabia would normalize Israeli ties, Palestinians decried the signing of the normalization deals, saying the agreements were “another treacherous stab in the back.”
As Turkey and Greece are at odds regarding the Eastern Mediterranean, the EU says confrontation between two NATO allies would offer no solution.
Turkish and Greek military delegations met at NATO headquarters Tuesday in an effort to reduce risks in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to the Ministry of National Defense.
If you would like to get to the bottom of the crisis in the region, you can take a look at our report: “Tension in Eastern Mediterranean in 5 questions.”
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