Istanbul, fines for not using masks in street

Fines of 120 euros in Istanbul for not wearing a mask outside

Turkish police have already begun to impose fines on people who do not wear a mask on the street, after their use became mandatory due to the recent increase in coronavirus infections.

The Turkish authorities have announced that the fine for not wearing a face mask on the street in Istanbul will be 900 liras, about 120 euros, after its use was made mandatory in Istanbul as well as in Turkey’s capital Ankara since 18 June.

Istanbul health authorities announced this Friday that the fine for not wearing a mask in public spaces will be 900 liras, unifying the same sanction for all districts, since previously the decision to impose or not fines was left to the mayor of each district, and it could reach up to 3,150 liras (410 euros).

Police has already started patrolling the streets, requesting documentation from people who do not wear a mask in Istanbul and Ankara, to proceed to sanction them. On Thursday, the first day of the measure, many people without a mask were still seen walking the streets of both cities. The use of a face mask is already required by law in public spaces in 48 of Turkey’s 81 provinces.

The mandatory use of the mask in Istanbul has been decreed as a result of the recent increase in cases of daily infections in Turkey, despite the fact that the country’s health minister insisted on Thursday that the figures are “within the expected limits”. A recent study estimates that only 1.5% of the Turkish population has antibodies against the coronavirus, which means that they may be immune but transmit the virus asymptomatically.