Duvar EnglishTurkey could celebrate Eid al-Fitr under curfew to prevent further COVID-19 spread
Turkey will impose a four-day curfew in all 81 provinces from May 23 to 26 covering the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on May 18.
The holiday marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and Turks usually gather with family and friends to celebrate, sometimes travelling to different towns or cities.
The existing travel restrictions on 15 provinces have been extended for another 15 days, Erdoğan said.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Erdoğan also said schools would not re-open this academic year and education would continue in person in September with the new academic year.Schools might reopen on June 1, says education minister
The Education Ministry said distance learning - via the internet or television - would continue until June 19, the last day of the current academic year.
Erdoğan said mosques would begin allowing mass prayers for mid-day and afternoon prayers as of May 29. He said the house arrest period for prisoners who were released as part of coronavirus measures had been extended for two months.
Citizens younger than 20 will be able to leave their houses on May 20 and 22, Erdoğan said, adding that people over 65 years old will be exempt from the curfew on May 24 between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Turkey, with the ninth highest number of cases globally, has started taking steps to ease measures against the spread of the coronavirus. The number of daily cases has declined from a peak in April.
Erdoğan on May 18 asked citizens to comply with social distancing rules, warning that stricter measures could be adopted if there is a surge in the spread of the virus.
He also called on Turks to mark Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day on May 19 by singing the national anthem at 7.19 p.m, as the country's 15 provinces are currently under a four-day lockdown.
Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day is an annual Turkish national holiday celebrated every year on May 19 to commemorate Mustafa Kemal's landing at Samsun on May 19, 1919, which is regarded as the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence in the official historiography.