Duvar EnglishTurkish Health Ministry 'plans for gradual normalization towards the end of May'
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik has said that the coronavirus measures may be lifted gradually after Eid al-Fitr, which ends on May 26.
"The more we abide by the precautions, the faster we will get rid of the pandemic," Çelik told reporters on April 21, adding that normalization can begin if the measures are followed by everyone.
"We're thinking of lifting limitations gradually," he said.
Çelik's remarks came after a similar evaluation by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who said on April 17 that a peak will be reached in 10 days, which will be followed by a plateau for two weeks if no major fluctuations take place. The three weeks after that will start to see a decrease in the number of cases, he said.
The government spokesperson also said that some 25,000 Turkish citizens abroad wanted to return to Turkey to spend Eid al-Fitr in the country.
"They will be brought to Turkey. It's a source of pride when the practices in other countries are examined," Çelik said.
Turning to the issue of the government's policies against municipalities run by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Çelik refuted claims that the CHP's services are prevented.Provincial health authority seals off field hospital built by Turkey's main opposition
"Those who brand it as prevention are not telling the truth to our citizens. Unfortunately, this is the politics of lies," he said.
The rift between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP and the CHP has been ongoing since the beginning of the pandemic in Turkey, with the government imposing a series of measures against opposition municipalities.
Most recently, a field hospital constructed in the southern province of Adana by the municipality was attempted to be sealed off by local health authorities over "sanitation concerns," with the main opposition saying that the AKP is constantly hindering their efforts to aid the people.
The Interior Ministry previously banned CHP municipalities from holding donation campaigns against coronavirus.
The AKP, in its defense, says that national coordination is one of the most significant issues during the pandemic and that the CHP needs to carry out its aid efforts in coordination with the government.
"A struggle against the pandemic with multiple authorities doesn't exist in anywhere in the world," Çelik said, adding that now is not the time to act in a partizan way.
"We have one party and that is the citizen party," he said.
Çelik also said that Turkey sent aid to over 40 countries during the pandemic, adding that "the legendary European solidarity fell to pieces."