ANKARA

Turkey aims to have Nation’s Gardens in all 81 of the country’s provinces by the year 2023, the republic’s centennial, the president said Friday.

“We will cover all 81 provinces with Nation’s Gardens by 2023,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, speaking at the mass opening of 10 gardens in the capital Ankara.

“As we will mark the 100th anniversary of the republic, we are nearing our goal of bringing 81 million square meters of Nation’s Gardens to 81 provinces for our people,” Erdogan added.

Erdogan said he was pleased that the Nation’s Gardens were opened on World Environment Day.

“I hail the Environment Day of all humanity with the understanding that the environment is entrusted to us for the future of our youth,” he said.

Erdogan also inspected Ankara’s Nation’s Garden, whose construction is ongoing.

Coronavirus

Erdogan said that Turkey showed the world that it was a “major country” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reiterating that a curfew for 15 provinces planned for this weekend has been cancelled, he said such curfews could be taken again to stem the virus’ spread.

“Our citizens must comply with [wearing] masks, [social] distancing, and hygiene rules. Otherwise, such limitations will inevitably be on the agenda again,” Erdogan added.

On Thursday night, Turkey announced a weekend curfew in 15 provinces, but early Friday Erdogan cancelled it.

Turkey has so far confirmed 176,410 COVID-19 cases. A total of 4,630 people have died and 131,778 recovered.

With coronavirus apparently on the wane, Turkey recently moved towards normalization, but cautioned the public to follow precautionary rules to prevent a second wave of the virus.

Libya

On recent developments in Libya, Erdogan said Turkish soldiers are on their way to achieving targeted plans with the Libyan Army.

Libya’s internationally recognized government has been under attack by warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces since April 2019.

In March, the Libyan government launched Operation Peace Storm to counter attacks on the capital, and recently took control of strategic locations, including the capital Tripoli, in a major blow to Haftar’s forces.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Libya’s new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to the military offensive by Haftar’s forces.

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