ANKARA, TURKEY – AUGUST 19: Turkey’s president affirmed his country’s commitment to Afghanistan’s “stability and security” on Thursday and said Ankara could hold talks with the government.
“We will meet with the government formed by the Taliban if necessary, and discuss our mutual agendas,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said following a five-hour Cabinet meeting at the presidential complex in the capital of Ankara.
The Taliban seized control of Kabul on Sunday, forcing President Ashraf Ghani and other top government officials to leave the country.
Erdogan dismissed claims by the opposition that Turkey is hosting 1.5 million Afghan refugees, “Turkey has no duty, responsibility, or obligation to be Europe’s refugee storehouse,” he said.
Turning to Turkey’s ongoing coronavirus vaccination campaign, Erdogan said teachers, school personnel will be required to provide negative PCR tests at least twice a week with the start of face-to-face learning on Sept. 6.
“We will require our unvaccinated university students and university staff to undergo regular PCR testing,” he said.
Public events such as concerts, theatres and movie theatres will soon require a negative PCR test to curb the spread of the virus.
“Airplanes and inter-city bus travels will also require PCR test to travel,” he said.
Regarding wildfires that began after July 28, the president said 72,000 decares of cultivated and planted land, nearly 1,000 decares of greenhouses, 2,590 tons of stored products, 2, 600 agricultural buildings were damaged.
Turkey saw hundreds of forest fires in southern and southwestern provinces from July 28.
With intensive and dedicated efforts, all blazes were brought under control in just over two weeks.
At least eight deaths were reported, according to official figures.