As of today, the sale in markets of non-essential products is prohibited, with the exception of food and cleaning. The government assures that “80% of life in Turkey is paralyzed”.
The Turkish Interior Ministry announced late on March 26th new measures to curb the expansion of the coronavirus in the country, while Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed today that the number of infections has increased to 5,698 and that 92 died by COVID-19.
According to a circular published by the Ministry of the Interior, open-air markets will only be allowed to sell essential products, such as basic foods or cleaning products and materials; furthermore, fresh vegetables and fruits must be sold packaged or, failing that, be packaged or wrapped by the vendors themselves, in order to avoid being touched by consumers.
The circular decrees that the sale of non-essential products such as clothing, accessories, toys, etc., will be suspended from 5:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. CET) on March 27th and until further notice. In addition, in the markets, a minimum distance of three meters must be maintained between the stalls in order to reduce the density of people and avoid crowds.
These measures are announced after the Turkish government already imposed restrictions on March 24th on the opening hours of supermarkets and stores, as well as on the capacity allowed inside the establishments.
Other measures enacted in recent days have included reducing bus capacity by 50%, suspending flights, closing schools, bars, cafes, swimming pools, gyms, and other public and leisure venues, suspending ceremonies in mosques, or the prohibition of those over 65 to go outside. Sports events and league matches have also been postponed, and court proceedings have been postponed.
“80% of life in Turkey is paralyzed”
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in a televised interview on Thursday that, although many people still continue to ignore the Turkish president’s request to stay home, most citizens – especially in big cities – are abiding by the restrictions. and complying with the decrees of “social isolation“.
“So far, our ministry has issued 38 circulars, 17 of them related to borders. Many high-level precautions have been taken. Right now, 80% of life in Turkey is paralysed,” said Soylu, speaking of the measures taken in Turkey against coronavirus. Proof of this, said the minister, is that traffic in cities has fallen by 80%, while intercity bus services have fallen by 73%.
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As a history lover, Pablo was captivated by Turkey from the first day he visited it in 2006: he got married there, has a house there… and has since become an expert on Turkey’s current affairs. With a long experience in media, he has been at the helm of hispanatolia.com since 2011, and now also of anatoliatoday.com