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Stranded Arab passengers bussed to northern Turkey: report

The passengers are in Istanbul airport [AFP]

Date of publication: 27 March, 2020

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Around 1,500 passengers from Algeria, Jordan and Tunisia are stranded at Istanbul airport.

Some 1,500 passengers from Algeria, Tunisia and Jordan stranded at Istanbul airport over the coronavirus pandemic have been taken to a dormitory in northern Turkey, local media reported on Thursday.

The passengers -- the majority Algerian -- were trapped with flights to their home countries were cancelled.

They were bussed to a students' dormitory in the northern city of Karabuk, the private DHA news agency reported.

Istanbul Airport operator IGA said Tuesday that more than 1,000 Algerians were at the airport for several days as Ankara tried to "persuade the Algerian government to grant landing rights for the affected flights."

The North African country has suspended since March 19 all scheduled travel links with Europe in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke with his counterparts from Algeria and Tunisia on Wednesday, according to a diplomatic source. 

Turkey has so far recorded 75 coronavirus-related deaths and 3,629 cases.

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