Turkey will monitor vehicles carrying cargo that enter the country from Central Asia with a tracking system, Adil Karaismailoğlu, the transportation and infrastructure minister, said Tuesday.
Under a new measure to allow for safer trade between Turkey and its neighbors, foreign truck drivers who comply with stringent health rules will be able to deliver their cargo and exit the country within 72 hours, without being subject to a 14-day quarantine.
Karaismailoğlu emphasized that after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the quarantine process, talks were held with Russia's transport minister and Kazakhstan's infrastructure minister.
Drivers from Russia and Kazakhstan will now be able to enter the country, provided that they do not get out of their vehicles and comply with stringent health rules.
He stated that drivers who have symptoms related to COVID-19 will not be allowed to pass, adding that all vehicles entering the country will continue to be subjected to disinfection.
"Drivers entering the country will be able to stop by the state-designated breakpoints," he said, adding that except for essential situations, drivers are not allowed to pause their transit there.
He said comprehensive measures have been taken at the customs gates in coordination with the Foreign Ministry, Health Ministry, Interior Ministry and Transport and Infrastructure Ministry to ensure that the export shipments are not adversely affected, the supply chain is not damaged, and the transportation sector can work effectively.
Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan on Monday said Turkish drivers with no symptoms who follow strict safety rules will also be allowed to exit the country again without being subject to a 14-day quarantine, except for those crossing Turkey's borders with Iraq and Iran.
To stem the spread of COVID-19, Turkey in March shut its border gates with neighboring countries, including Iran and Iraq. After the closure of Iraqi borders, the Trade Ministry implemented a number of no-contact foreign trade studies in order to continue the country's exports and imports.
Turkish drivers are responsible for bringing trucks to border crossings before their containers are received by a foreign driver who hauls the goods back through their country of residence. The vehicles are disinfected when they arrive at the buffer zone established at the customs gates before they are brought to the other side of the border.
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