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.

With the fall in COVID-19 cases and an expedited vaccination drive in the country, Turkey has entered a new normalization phase, lifting almost all virus-related restrictions.

Erdogan said that the country’s new normalization phase is running successfully and stressed that the most effective and widespread method of protection in the world against the pandemic is vaccination.

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.

About tourism, Erdogan said the sector is working at full speed with the target of 25 million tourists and $20 billion in tourism income.

“In 2021, we will break the all-time record by increasing our exports to over 200 billion dollars. The interest of international investors in our country is increasing day by day,” he added.

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.”

He recalled his visit to the southeastern Diyarbakir province last week, saying that he had spent a “very special” day with locals.

Last week on Friday, Erdogan paid a visit to the families protesting the forcible recruitment practice of PKK terror group and voiced support for their cause.

As Turkey’s July 15 Democracy and National Unity Day nears, President Erdogan said: “Every July 15 will be a reminder for us of our determination to break the treacherous hands targeting our country and nation.”

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.

Ankara 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.

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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