Among the measures, Turkey will limit hotel beds, restrict mask exports, monitor prices, increase cleaning on public transport, and postpone dozens of events.
Turkish government has intensified its efforts against the coronavirus after detecting the first case of COVID-19 in the country: a Turkish citizen who travelled to Europe and contracted the virus, and who has been placed under quarantine along with the people he had contact. Despite the fact that there are no more contagions in the country, Turkey plans to cancel several sporting events, increase border controls, and even limit the arrival of tourists.
Speaking to the press after attending a scientific council meeting in which several ministers participated, Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy confirmed that it is studying to limit the number of foreign tourists for at least one month, while various national and international events could be postponed until after April.
Limitations on hotel places for tourists
Ersoy explained that his ministry has been holding meetings with representatives of the tourism sector, adding that in the next few days the executive will announce a series of economic support measures for businessmen in the sector. “Cultural events organised by our ministry are likely to be postponed until the end of April,” he said, announcing more prevention measures in the coming days.
Regarding restrictions on the entry of foreign tourists, Ersoy pointed out that among other measures, hotel chains that have more than one hotel in the same area will only be able to keep one of them in service, with the aim of reducing the number of available beds for foreigners.
Mask export restrictions and price control
For her part, Turkish Minister of Commerce Ruhsar Pekcan, who also attended the scientific advisory meeting on COVID-19, stressed that the priority now for the country is to produce enough medical material to prevent the spread of the virus, such as masks or disposable gloves. Furthermore, at the meeting it was decided to restrict exports of these products, unless national demand is guaranteed.
The minister also warned that the Ministry of Commerce will carry out more inspections on the prices of this type of products to prevent speculators from taking advantage of the situation and raise prices in an abusive way; in addition, the prices of other products such as disinfectants or even food are also being monitored, in case there are unjustified increases in them.
Disinfection equipment in big cities
Meanwhile, the municipalities of Turkey’s main cities, including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, have mobilised hundreds of municipal workers to thoroughly clean and disinfect public transportation, including shared taxis (dolmuş). In İzmir, the third largest city in the country, municipal employees also disinfect schools, bus and metro stops, and other public places.
At national level, the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports has announced that at least 82 events, both national and international, to be held in March and April, have been postponed; while the Turkish Minister of Education Ziya Selçuk has confirmed that the possibility of suspending classes is being considered as a preventive measure to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
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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