A brawl erupted between dozens of pilgrims and police during the former’s attempt to escape from coronavirus quarantine in a student dormitory in the Central Anatolian province of Konya on March 16.
Footage showed the pilgrims, who were taken into quarantine in student dormitories upon returning to Turkey from a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, trying to pass police barricades, prompting Twitter users to criticize the pilgrims’ reckless behavior.
In a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, Turkey has prepared student dormitories in 16 provinces, including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, to quarantine its citizens returning from abroad, as well as those returning from Umrah, a pilgrimage rite carried out in the holy cities throughout the year, which is separate from the annual week-long haj.
The pilgrims were taken into dormitories on March 15 and have been complaining about quarantine conditions since.
When asked about the incident, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that “a more detailed plan was prepared on the issue.”
“I don’t think there will be any problems in the future,” Koca told reporters on March 16.