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06/16/2020

Last week in Turkey: The risk of a second wave of Covid-19 and a message to Egypt

Last week in Turkey: The risk of a second wave of Covid-19 and a message to Egypt

The risk of a second outbreak and possible responses have begun to be debated in the Turkish public.

RISING NUMBERS

Until today, 4,792 people had died of the coronavirus in Turkey, and the total number of confirmed cases has reached 176,677, with 1,459 more people had been tested positive with the virus in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca had announced on Twitter. 

According to the official announcements, a total of 150,087 patients had recovered and had been discharged from the hospitals since the beginning of the outbreak, and 684 patients are being treated at intensive care units.

In Turkey, the number of overall tests done so far is around 2,586,995.

NEW MEASURES?

Dr. Sema Kultufan, a member of the Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, evaluated the rise in numbers of cases with the following words; “There is not an uncontrolled rise in numbers, I can tell you that. We are making more than 45,000 test every day. There is a rise in the numbers of cases but we cannot speak of a second wave yet(…) If this trend continues in the following days, then we can start to talk about some new measures.”

Another member of the same board, Professor Tevfik Ozlu, evaluated the situation in an optimistic way;The daily number in new cases alone, does not show whether the pandemic situation is getting better or worse. We have to take other criteria into account. There is a huge rise in the numbers of tests, but the numbers of cases are still in thousands. The numbers of positive results in tests are decreasing with respect to overall tests made. This means that the pandemic is still in a decline. 

The numbers and the evaluations from the authorities show that Turkey is likely to discuss new measures against Covid-19 pandemic in the following days.

RE:DIALOGUE WITH EGYPT

Eastern Mediterranean conflicts continue to be discussed among the Turkish public. The military situation in Libya and relations with Egypt cover the headlines of newspapers nearly every day.

While Turkey is pleased with the GNA’s military successes in Libya, it is also aware that some diplomatic steps need to be taken.

At this point, negotiations with Russia and the United States continue full-time.

In connection with Eastern Mediterranean issues, an interesting statement was made by AK Party Counsel Yasin Aktay, who offered peace to Egypt, despite the fact that relations have been tense since 2013. 

THE UAE IS DISRUPTING RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND EGYPT

In an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic, AK Party Counsel Yasin Aktay said that cooperation between Egypt and Greece in the Mediterranean not only harms Turkey, but also Egypt itself, adding that the only winner in this conflict is the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Aktay stressed that cooperation between Turkey and Egypt in the Mediterranean would be in benefit for both countries.

“The cooperation between Turkey and Egypt would benefit both countries. Some political disputes between the governments should not pose obstacles against a crucial cooperation between the two countries. Behind all conflicts between Egypt and Turkey, lies the UAE.”

Aktay is saying that the Abu Dhabi government stands against any cooperation between Turkey  and Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, even if it would be in benefit for the Egyptians. He also stressed that Turkey is not intervening in Libya in order to create conflict with any regional country, including Egypt, claiming Turkey had “intervened to defend its interests, while considering that the maritime agreement between Egypt and Greece had caused harm both for Egyptian and Turkish interests.”

He also said that, “Turkey and Egypt hold mutual interests in the international waters of the Mediterranean. This is why it would be more appropriate to look the other way when it comes to the conflicts between Ankara and Cairo, and to focus more on mutual interests. If we have a dispute on an issue, that does not mean we will be hostile to each other in all issues.”

A POSITIVE MESSAGE FROM ANKARA TO CAIRO

Last week, Turkish foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that “In terms of balances in Libya, relations with Egypt have become a bit more tense, however, the same is true for Egypt. Cooperation with Turkey is the most coherent action for Egypt (…) Both the Islamic world and the Middle East need a stable and strong Egypt.”

When we look at the statements of various Turkish authorities, we can safely say that relations between Ankara and Cairo are showing some signs of improvement, although the tensions in Libya continue.

Relations between Turkey and Egypt are likely to further evolve in the coming days. 

 
United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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