KUALA LUMPUR: More than 350 of the 500 Malaysian students in Turkey want to return to Malaysia following the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, according to a survey by the Malaysian Students Association in Turkey (Masat).
Masat president Nur Izzah Fakharuldin said the finding prompted Masat to present a paper to the embassy on chartering an aeroplane that would be funded by its own students to bring them back to Malaysia.
“We hope students and parents can be calm and patient. We keep in touch with the embassy and other fellow students here and keep them informed of any developments,” she said when contacted by Bernama on Tuesday.
However, the travel plan hit a snag after Turkey on Friday suspended all international flights to deal with the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
In addition, individuals who want to leave a city will need the permission of their respective state’s governors.
“Malaysian students are not just in Istanbul, but all over Turkey. So we need to fine-tune many things to make this happen and gain the cooperation and approval of the Turkish government,” she said.
Nur Izzah added that while the embassy had been informed that Qatar Airways would still be available for the Istanbul-Kuala Lumpur route, Masat is of the opinion that the route – requiring transit in a third country – might expose students to Covid-19.