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Turkish supermarkets to sell only essential products

As of May 7, supermarkets and grocery stores will only be able to sell essential food and cleaning products to avoid crowds and contagions.

Turkish supermarkets will only be authorised to sell essential products from next Friday, May 7, as confirmed by the Ministry of the Interior of the Eurasian country: a measure announced amid the lockdown that the country is experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic and which, according to the authorities, aims to avoid crowds to stop infections.

According to the instructions sent by the ministry to the offices of the governors of the 81 provinces of Turkey, these stores will only be able to sell to the public basic products related to food and hygiene, as well as pet food. Local governors are further reminded that the sale of alcohol remains prohibited.

The ministerial directive thus prohibits supermarkets from May 7 from selling products such as toys, clothing, home decor items, office supplies, electronic products, cutlery, car items, etc. This prohibition will remain in force at least until the end of the lockdown in force, scheduled for May 17.

Due to the lockdown declared at the end of April because of the alarming increase in infections in the country, all stores remain completely closed from 7:00 p.m. on April 29 to 5:00 a.m. on May 17, with the exception of those that sell food (supermarkets, grocery stores, butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, bakeries, etc.), which are open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Citizens can only go out to buy food at their nearest store.

“This is a dynamic process: new needs require new measures,” commented Interior Ministry spokesman İsmail Çataklı on the announcement of the measure to allow supermarkets and other food stores to sell only essential products. These restrictions, however, like the rest of the prohibitions in force on the sale of other items, do not apply to products purchased online.