Turkey will soon be counted among the world’s top-tier countries, both politically and economically, the country’s president said Monday.

“Amid the restructuring of the global management and economic system, we have seized the most important opportunity of the last two centuries to bring Turkey to the place it deserves,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a nearly two-hour Cabinet meeting at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.

Telling how the latest COVID-19 variants are threatening the world, Erdogan hailed the country’s “strong” health system, also praising Turkey’s vaccination rates.

Erdogan called on the public to continue to follow hygiene rules, masking, and social distancing until herd immunity is achieved.

On next week’s Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, the president said: “We must spend the holidays while following [COVID] measures. We must not let go of measures if we don’t want to face similar challenges in the future.”

Erdogan also condemned a Sunday incident when a group in Istanbul desecrated the Surp Takavor Armenian Church in the city’s Kadikoy district.

He vowed to closely monitor the handling of the incident.

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