128 Filipinos fly home from Turkey

ONE hundred twenty-eight Filipinos in Turkey whose jobs were affected by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) arrived yesterday in Manila.

Their repatriation was made possible through the efforts of the Philippine Embassy in Ankara and the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul  in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila and Turkish authorities.

Due to the global pandemic outbreak, Filipinos sought the Embassy’s assistance to return to the Philippines. 

The repatriation was arranged with Turkish Airlines which put the Filipinos on a special flight. The repatriates departed Istanbul International Airport on June 10  and arrived at the NAIA in Manila  Thursday at 10:55 am. 

The repatriated nationals were composed of 69 land-based Filipino nationals with 19 students, and 34 undocumented workers from provinces across Turkey from Ankara, Antalya, Bodrum, Denizli, Eskisehir, Erzincan, Gaziantep, Izmir, Istanbul, Konya, Mersin, Nevsehir, and Trabzon.

The arrivals included 56 sea-based workers who disembarked from different sea vessels docked in Turkish ports, namely: the MV Stella Wakamatsu, the MV HC Nadja Maria and the MV AOM Elena , and the MV Yavuz in Yalova, Tuzla in Istanbul, and Antalya, respectively; and 3 Filipino seafarers who signed off from their vessels (the MV Partagas and MV Orient Arrow, both in Istanbul, and the MV Golden Suek in Izmir) for emergency non-COVID 19 related medical treatments.

The special flight also repatriated the remains of Ms. Maria Biluan, an overseas Filipino from Benguet and based in Ankara , who passed away last May 20.