Nergis Demirkaya / DUVAR
A total of 11 Turkish lawmakers are in self-imposed quarantine amid coronavirus fears, as the number of cases exceeded 45 in the country.
Nine deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and two from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have decided to stay at home for 14 days upon returning from abroad.
Turkish authorities have been urging those who returned from foreign trips to stay at home for 14 days to curb the spread of the virus.
The lawmakers are under close surveillance of Parliament Speaker’s Office, sources told Duvar, adding that the office called the parties to ask lawmakers to not show up in parliament.
Speaking about reports on AKP lawmakers avoiding quarantine upon returning from Umrah, a pilgrimage rite carried out in the holy cities throughout the year, which is separate from the annual week-long haj, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said that there aren’t any deputies who did Umrah since the beginning of March.
“We have information on where the deputies went and from where they returned. Nearly all of the deputies in question returned from Europe. One of them came back from Uzbekistan and the other from Tanzania. There are also those who returned from Northern Cyprus. Other than that, the majority returned from Europe,” Şentop told reporters on March 17.
“Our lawmaker friends have put themselves under quarantine in their houses for 14 days as necessitated by their responsibilities,” he added.
AKP Parliamentary Group Chair Naci Bostancı, meanwhile, said that five deputies did Umrah.
“Four of them returned to Turkey in January and one returned on Feb. 23. Nine lawmakers who returned from compulsory foreign meetings are in their homes,” Bostancı said on Twitter on March 17.