Turkey evacuates some 7,000 people from Libya

A total of 25,000 Turks were based in Libya prior to the deadly unrest.

Updated: Feb 24, 2011, 23:45 PM IST

Ankara: Turkey said it has brought more
than 7,000 people from Libya since the weekend, among them
nationals of other countries who requested help, as its
large-scale evacuation operation continued Thursday.

Some 3,000 people arrived at the Mediterranean port of
Marmaris early Thursday aboard two ferries that Ankara sent to
Libya to collect Turks caught in deadly unrest sweeping the
North African country, the foreign ministry said.

Among them were several dozen foreigners, including
nationals of Britain, Canada, Germany, Syria and Russia.

A total of 25,000 Turks were based in Libya prior to
the eruption of deadly unrest last week, most of them
employees of Turkish construction companies active in the
country. Seven planes, including charter flights hired by
companies, were to bring more people today, foreign ministry
spokesman Selcuk Unal said in remarks carried by Anatolia news

Some of them were to take off from Libyan capital
Tripoli, while others from airports in neighbouring Egypt and
Tunisia, where evacuees were transported by road, he said.

Another Turkish ferry with a capacity to carry up to
800 people was expected to reach the flash point city of
Benghazi Thursday afternoon, with two others on their way,
Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said in televised remarks.

Efforts were underway to repatriate also the body of a
27-year-old Turkish worker who was killed in the unrest,
reportedly while working on a construction site near Tripoli,
Anatolia reported.

About 200 Turkish companies are involved in
construction projects in Libya amounting to more than USD 15