Turkey’s leader preferred not to reimpose the coronavirus curfew due to its heavy economic consequences. As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said, the major Turkish cities should avoid what he described as “some social and economic consequences.”
In Turkey, a decision to reimpose lockdown in the country was unpopular, so, Turkey’s Interior Ministry’s plan to do that was cancelled by the head of the state.
In fact, the curfew was announced in 15 cities including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir this weekend in an e-mailed statement early Friday, Bloomberg News reported. However, 12 hours later, Mr Erdogan in a Twitter post said he decided to “cancel the curfew decision over the weekend” due to feedback from citizens.
In June, Turkey reopened restaurants, beaches and ended travel restrictions earlier this week to restore some measure of mobility for the population of 83 million who’ve been under curfews and lockdowns since March. The decision to reimpose the curfew over the weekend came as a surprise for many.
As the president said, the decision was taken after a jump in the number of coronavirus cases that reached almost 1,000 on Thursday from about 700 in previous days but that “it has been understood that the decision would lead to some social and economic consequences.”
According to the experts, the Turkish president is “taking a risk,” cancelling the curfew under current circumstances. Comparing with the rise of infections in Ukraine and Kazakhstan where the lockdowns were eased, Turkey’s decision looks strange. The doctors believe that the lockdowns had been reimposed due to fears over rising infections but Erdogan seems to have overridden these due to concerns over the economy.
As of Friday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 988 on Thursday to 167,410, according to data announced by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. Fatalities rose by 21 to 4,630.