Turkey removes restriction on export of cloth masks

Turkey's Trade Ministry had on March 4 subjected cloth mask exports to prior authorization. Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan announced on May 13 that the authorities removed this pre-approval requirement for Turkish suppliers to export face masks.

Duvar English

Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan announced on May 13 that the government has removed prior authorization requirement for Turkish suppliers to export protective cloth masks, which are used to help prevent the novel coronavirus from getting spread.

“Turkey has an infrastructure which has the potential to be the biggest supplier of cloth (textile fabric/knit fabric) in the international arena as one of the biggest producers of textiles and garments in the world,” Pekcan wrote on her Twitter account.

“In this period that has seen a global contraction in the textile and garment sector, prior authorization will not be required for multi-use cloth (textile fabric/knit fabric) mask exports,” she wrote.

Turkey sets standards for cloth masks

Meanwhile, Turkey has set the standards for the production of cloth masks, an important step amid the coronavirus normalization process.

The Turkish Standards Institute (TSE), which published the new regulations on its website late on May 11, said Turkey was the third country in the world to do so.

The masks, which are essential in reducing the spread of the virus by minimizing the excretion of respiratory droplets from infected individuals, are classified in three categories: small, medium and large.

Mask fabric will be developed from synthetic or natural fibers and can be produced by weaving, knitting, knitwear or non-woven textile methods.

"We are taking new steps in determining the standards for washable masks in cooperation with the ministries of industry and technology, trade, TSE, TÜBİTAK, and manufacturers," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

A price will be determined for these reusable masks and sales will be allowed, he said, adding that the products have huge export potential.

Last week, Ankara set a price limit of a maximum of 1 Turkish lira ($0.14) for disposable face masks, which are already being sold in markets and pharmacies.