Two-day weekend lockdown canceled

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has canceled a two-day curfew initially planned for this weekend, June 6 and 7, for a total of 15 provinces, saying it could have led to social and economic consequences.

The Interior Ministry on late June 4 had announced the lockdown for those provinces, including Istanbul, the capital Ankara and İzmir, to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“After the latest curfew, we did not consider declaring another lockdown for this weekend. However, the number of daily virus cases, which dropped down to around 700, has increased to some 1,000 recently. In the face of this adverse development, we had to put imposing another weekend curfew back on our agenda,” Erdoğan said on Twitter on June 5.

Erdoğan added that following reactions from the public, the curfew decision was reviewed, and he decided to scrap the lockdown.

It became apparent that the curfew, whose sole aim is in fact to prevent the spread of the virus and protect people, would lead to different social and economic consequences, the president said.

“I did want our citizens who just started to reorganize their daily lives after a two-and-a-half-month break, to suffer,’’ Erdoğan tweeted.

In a series of tweets, the president urged people to wear protective face masks, adhere to social distancing and heed all hygiene rules.

The first curfew was declared from April 11-12 and was followed by subsequent ones in recent weeks.

Turkey already moved to the normalization phase on June 1 amid the outbreak.

Restaurants, cafes, parks, and gyms reopened while local airlines resumed their domestic flights. Schools, however, remained closed.

Shopping centers, barber shops, hair salons and non-essential stores had already recommenced their businesses.

“We have to remember that we have not yet returned to a normal life, but we are trying to do so in a planned manner,” said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca following a meeting with the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Science Board.

“I am fully confident that we will win this war. The shore has been seen, but we are still navigating through troubled waters,” Koca said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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