Turkey restarts international flights, lifts some coronavirus travel measures

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Updated 12 June 2020

Turkey restarts international flights, lifts some coronavirus travel measures

  • Airport authorities were checking arrivals’ temperatures and making sure that social distancing rules were being followed
  • Flights resumed with Germany, UK and Netherlands

DUBAI: Turkey is gradually resuming international flights, weeks after airports were closed due to coronavirus restrictions, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Turkey’s national airline Turkish Airlines have started flights to Germany, UK and the Netherlands from Istanbul International Airport.
Airport authorities were checking arrivals’ temperatures and making sure that social distancing rules were being followed. 
International flights from Istanbul’s second airport, Sabiha Gökçen Airport, have also resumed. 
A subsidiary of Turkish Airliness, Anadolu Jet has restarted flights to Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Munich.
The country has also lifted the 14-day home quarantine for citizens coming back to visit Turkey, another report by Hurriyet Daily added.
“During the summer period, we will assist our citizens abroad who are on a journey to homeland,” Abdullah Eren, the head of Turkey’s Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities, said in a statement.
Transit passages for Turkish nationals coming from Europe vial land were also opened.
Around 6 million Turks reside in European countries and in recent years around 700,000 of them drove to Turkey, the report added.


New board of directors appointed to run Lebanon’s ‘corrupt’ state power company

Updated 08 July 2020

New board of directors appointed to run Lebanon’s ‘corrupt’ state power company

  • Regulation of electricity sector a key condition of international bailout for collapsing economy

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s government finally appointed a new board of directors on Tuesday to control the state-owned electricity company.
Electricite du Liban (EDL) has long been mired in allegations of corruption and fraud. Its annual losses of up to $2 billion a year are the biggest single drain on state finances as Lebanon faces economic collapse and the plunging value of its currency.
Reform of the electricity sector has been a key demand of the International Monetary Fund and potential donor states before they will consider a financial bailout.
“Lebanon’s electricity policy has been inefficient and ineffective for decades — always on the brink of collapse, but staying afloat with last minute patchwork solutions,” said Kareem Chehayeb of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC.
“The economic crisis has made fuel imports more expensive, causing a shortage, with external generator providers hiking their prices or seeking business in Syria. It is a wake-up call to decades of overspending and poor planning of a basic public service.”
The World Bank has described the electricity sector in Lebanon as “tainted with corruption and waste,” and the IMF said “canceling the subsidy to electricity is the most important potential saving in spending.”
Electricity rationing was applied for the first time to hospitals and the law courts, but Minister of Energy Raymond Ghajar said: “The first vessel loaded with diesel for power plants has arrived, and as of Wednesday the power supply will improve.”
Prime Minister Hassan Diab promised the Lebanese people on Tuesday that they would see the results of government efforts to resolve the country’s financial chaos “in the coming weeks.”
Addressing a Cabinet meeting, Diab said: “The glimmer of hope is growing.” However, the appointment of an  EDF board of directors was criticized by opposition politicians. Former prime minister Najib Mikati said the appointments meant “the crime of wrong prevailing over right … is being repeated.”