LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

A Turkish national working in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) whose son was hospitalized due to an accident in eastern Turkey requested permission to travel back amid coronavirus travel restrictions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan answered the plea of Ali Celik, who will return to Turkey on Wednesday night by sea to reunite with his son currently in the province of Gaziantep.

“I am very grateful to my country and President Erdogan for hearing my plea. I thank him and our Foreign Ministry for bringing me home,” said Celik.

Our president heard my voice

The family’s troubles began when Celik’s son suffered an accident on April 16.

Celik believed that if he could make his voice heard, his country would support him.

“My child is in the ICU right now. His situation is slightly better. We’re awaiting the day he wakes up,” he said.

Celik had been working as a construction worker in the TRNC, going back and forth between Turkey and Northern Cyprus. The last time he entered the TRNC was February 23.

When air and sea travel was banned due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, he could no longer make his way home.

As of Wednesday, Turkey registered a total of 3,584 deaths due to the coronavirus, while 78,202 have recovered from the disease. There are currently 131,744 confirmed cases in the country.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 187 countries and regions, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas.

The pandemic has killed over 259,000 worldwide, with total infections more than 3.71 million, while recoveries surpassed 1.22 million, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

* Writing by Firdevs Bulut

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