06 May 2020 - NW590
Madlingozi, Mr BS to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
Whether her department will assist with regard to the repatriation of students and other South Africans in Turkey who are stuck due to the COVID- 19 pandemic?
DIRCO had a discussion with the Turkish Embassy in South Africa on 11 April 2020, which intervened and confirmed that the students may remain in the dormitories of the University (Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi Asariye). The Turkish Embassy further confirmed that the University agreed to provide food and all other requirements for the full period until at least end of May.
DIRCO negotiated with South African Airways (SAA) to utilise SAA’s charter flights to London and Frankfurt to repatriate South Africans to South Africa. Only South Africans who were able to travel to Frankfurt could be repatriated. South Africans in Turkey were unable to fly to Frankfurt due to the lockdown in Turkey and could therefore not be repatriated on these charter flights. We continue to seek solutions to the challenges posed by travel restrictions.