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Top Turkish officials close to Erdogan test positive for COVID-19

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Turkey’s presidential spokesman and interior minister test positive for the coronavirus. Two top Turkish officials who work closely with Turkey’s president have said they tested positive for COVID-19. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said on Saturday he had […]

Turkey’s presidential spokesman and interior minister test positive for the coronavirus.

Two top Turkish officials who work closely with Turkey’s president have said they tested positive for COVID-19.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said on Saturday he had light COVID-19 symptoms and was nearing the end of treatment.

He did not say how long he has been sick.

His comments came hours after Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said he, his wife and daughter all tested positive after feeling unwell on Monday. They are being treated in a hospital.

“Thankfully we are a bit better,” he said.

Soylu was criticised in April for announcing Turkey’s first weekend-long coronavirus lockdown just two hours before it went into effect, leading to scenes of chaos at markets. The president rejected his resignation.

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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.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Saturday reported 75 new deaths from COVID-19 and 2,213 new confirmed cases.

The country’s death toll in the pandemic now stands at 10,252, while the total number of cases stands at 375,367.

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