With 1,300 cases of covid-19 and 96 deaths in the country, Erdogan announced that the curfew adopted last weekend will be extended
Turkey imposed a curfew over the weekends to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced on Monday.
"We made the decision to keep the weekend curfew for as long as necessary," said the head of government during a speech broadcast live on "NTV".
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Turkey determined a widespread curfew last weekend for the first time since the pandemic began. However, the measure was announced just two hours before it went into effect, which led to a massive wave of people flocking to stores to stock up on food.
Minister resigns, but is kept
In response to criticism of his actions, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu resigned last night, but a message from the presidency made it clear hours after Erdogan did not accept the resignation.
The president declared that the state is providing financial assistance to 4.5 million people to help them overcome the crisis and insisted that he will not be subject to any imposition, starting with those he says he has been receiving from the International Monetary Fund.
The curfew is applied in 31 of Turkey's 81 provinces, which together represent almost 80% of the country's population, including all major cities.
The measure forces all types of businesses to close, except pharmacies and bakeries, and only allows workers from vital sectors, such as health and infrastructure, transportation, hotels, elderly care and animal care, to leave their homes. The country has 1,296 registered coronavirus cases, with 98 deaths.