Turkish president’s spokesman, minister test positive

Erdogan says Turkey cannot abandon ties with Russia or Ukraine

Istanbul, Oct 31 (AFP/APP):Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman and interior minister both announced Saturday that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kolin tweeted that he had reached “the final stage of coronavirus treatment” but did not say how long he has been sick. “I am going very well,” he wrote.

Kolin’s comment came only hours after Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said he was hospitalised Friday with his wife and daughter, who also tested positive for the virus. Both men routinely meet Erdogan, who was travelling on Saturday to Izmir to inspect the damage from an earthquake that killed more than 30 people in Turkey and Greece.

The Turkish leader, whose entourage is routinely tested for the virus, has exhibited no signs of illness and keeps a punishing schedule that often includes several daily televised speeches.

Turkey, which this week surpassed 10,000 coronavirus deaths, has so far refrained from reintroducing the lockdown measures being unveiled by countries such as France and Greece.

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