The Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions urged all employers March 31 to temporarily ban layoffs to prevent unemployment during the coronavirus outbreak. The confederation also called for a 15-day pause in production, except for urgent goods, and for the allocation of Turkey’s unemployment fund to workers in need.
Opposition Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener has said that she donated money to Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu's campaigns that were launched to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), as she also slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for launching a campaign to collect donations from Turkish citizens to contain the impact of the pandemic.
The use of public transportation in Turkey’s capital dropped by 84 percent in the month of March since the first coronavirus-positive patient in Turkey was diagnosed. While some 1.7 million people used public transportation in the city March 2, this number dropped to 271,783 by March 27.
Filiz Ünal, the head of Turkish Medical Association's family practitioners branch, said that they expect the pandemic to recur in September, as she urged the shortcomings in terms of medical equipment to be removed urgently. "There is an extraordinary chaos in terms of medical equipment and the operation," Ünal told Duvar.
Izmir mayor Tunç Soyer from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) joined Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu in urging the government in Ankara to declare a lockdown to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. While İmamoğlu has not specified a timeline for the lockdown he was suggesting for Istanbul, Soyer said that a two-week lockdown in Izmir would be beneficial.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has claimed that the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is above 2,000 in Istanbul. The association also said that the number of cases in the western province of İzmir is around 700, while nearly 70 patients are suspected of being infected with the virus in the southeastern province of Urfa.
A doctor at Izmir's Dokuz Eylül University has issued an apology to the public and to the government after a statement in which he said the number of cases of coronavirus and deaths caused by the virus in Turkey was worse than Italy's. The rector of the Dokuz Eylül University, former ruling Justice and Development Party deputy Nükhet Hotar, released a statement saying that Savran's statement had been misunderstood. Then Yusuf Savran released a new video in which he apologized to "elders in the state".
This week is “very critical” to curb the speed of the coronavirus' spread in Turkey, and the country's success will depend on whether citizens are abiding by the measures, said Prof. Alpay Azap, a member of the Health Ministry's Coronavirus Science Committee.
A group of Turkish firms have collaborated to undertake the domestic mass production of ventilators, which are critical in treating COVID-19. One of these firms is Baykar, a company co-owned by Selçuk Bayraktar, the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Turkish President Erdoğan has launched a national donation campaign to offer financial help to those hit by the coronavirus outbreak. “Within the context of 'We are enough for each other, Turkey' campaign, a bank account has been opened by the Family, Labor and Social Services ministry. I initiate the campaign by donating my seven months of salary," Erdoğan said on March 30.
Some 40 Kurdish musicians have prepared a video clip showing themselves performing the Kurdish version of the Italian folk song "Bella Ciao" in an attempt to show solidarity with Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Turkey is not among the non-EU emerging economies in Central and Eastern Europe that has applied for emergency assistance from a $50 billion pool available via the IMF’s rapid financial support facilities, the organization’s European Department Director Poul M. Thomsen said.
Renowned Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran said that right-wing populist leaders in the world are failing in their leadership skills regarding the struggle against the novel coronavirus. “They [right-wing leaders] are all retreating, we don't see them as often as before. They love to speak normally,” she said during an interview with pan-European political movement DiEM25.
Turkey’s deaths from the coronavirus increased by 37 to 168 on March 30, as the number of confirmed cases rose by 1,610 to 10,827, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said. The minister added on Twitter that 11,535 tests had been conducted on March 30 - the highest since the start of the outbreak.
HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar said that the party will establish an Alternative Science Commission that will convey reliable information to the public. "The society needs reliable information above all else. A center that puts the people's security at its core must be formed. The most urgent need is to protect the society," Sancar said.