A group of women in the Mediterranean district of Ceyhan were denied an official permit to hold a March 8th International Women's Day meeting on the grounds that it would be unsafe amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has yet to be detected in Turkey.
A group of women from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) asked the Ceyhan Governor's Office for an official permit to organize a "Women's Festival" for March 8th, originally intended to celebrate female labor workers.
"[The celebration] wasn't found to be safe for general security, public order and in light of the viral outbreak in nearby countries," said the Governor's Office as a response.
The HDP Ceyhan District Office protested the decision, noting the double standards applied to the opposition party and pointing to a meeting held by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Feb. 22.
"If there's an outbreak, then apply this rule to everyone. Why was there no contagious disease when the AKP gathered thousands at a meeting in İzmir' but there's one now?"
Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Feb. 26 that while there are no known cases of coronavirus in Turkey yet, there could be some in the future.
"The risk is at our door, this is critical. The spread is growing larger every day in our region," Koca said.