Turkey  announces partial lockdowns, closures, as Covid-19 rages

“The number of cases and deaths have reached a serious level, starting with Istanbul, so we need to be more careful,” President Erdogan says while announcing the new weekend curfew.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a partial weekend curfew and ordered restaurants, coffee shops to switch to takeout service only as coronavirus infections and deaths surge.

 

“We are facing a serious situation,” Erdogan told the nation on Tuesday after chairing a cabinet meeting at which the new measures were discussed.

 

“The number of cases and deaths have reached a serious level, starting with Istanbul, so we need to be more careful.”

 

Erdogan said the curfew would apply from 10 pm until 8 am [local time] and start this weekend without disruption of the supply chain.

 

Turkey’s advisory science board has recommended that the government should implement concrete measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Monday, as the number of daily cases has spiked in recent weeks.

 

Ankara only announces the daily number of symptomatic cases, of which there were 3,819 on Tuesday, as well as 103 deaths, both around the levels last seen in April, bringing the total death toll to 11,704 from the disease.

 

“If the increasing trend of the outbreak continues, it will become inevitable for the measures that resulted in painful outcomes for all of us to be back on the agenda,” Erdogan said.

 

 

Turkey’s Covid-19 outbreak is much more comprehensive and devastating than official “patient” number suggest.  According to Turkish Medical Association true daily new cases could be as high as 84K.  Interviews with contact tracing teams reveal that the chain had been broken for over a month, as many patients refuse to report their contacts, and the contacts refusing to cooperate with medical authorities.

 

Health Minister Mr Fahrettin Koca still refuses to answer questions about the daily case number, creating a false sense of complacency among the public, where violations of the mask-wearing  order is rampant, and curfew violations for after-hours parties, weddings, funerals, etc., continue.

 

A recent survey by non-political Ipsos surveying agency found that 80% of the respondents want a national lockdown.

 

Mr Erdogan is aware of the fiscal hit such a measure would cost, as time when his new economy team are drafting plans for budget  cuts and monetary tightening. The Treasury simply doesn’t have the revenues or the borrowing capacity to pay for the cost of a national lockdown, which would add to wide-spread unemployment of thousands of small business teetering at the edge of bankruptcy.

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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.