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Turkish parliament speaker denies deputies returning from Umrah avoided quarantine

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Mustafa Şentop, the speaker of Turkey’s parliament, has denied allegations on social media that 17 deputies returning from Umrah in Saudi Arabia avoided quarantine, the TR724 news website reported.

He told journalists that no member of parliament has performed Umrah, the Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, since the beginning of March.

“There are deputies returning from other countries. They have self-isolated themselves at home in line with their civic duties,” Şentop said.

A Turkish Twitter user claimed that 17 deputies returning from Umrah had avoided quarantine by using the airport’s VIP lounge upon arrival. Şentop denounced the user as a “provocation account.”

Turkey recently confirmed the infection of a citizen who had just returned from Umrah.

Turkish authorities have requested citizens returning from abroad to self-isolate at home for 14 days upon arrival in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of coronavirus cases in Turkey has reached 47, according to the health minister. No deaths have yet been announced.

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