Turks take to their balconies to applaud medical staff

People in Turkey stepped out on their balconies on March 19 evening to applaud healthcare workers on the front line of fighting the coronavirus outbreak. Health Minister Koca called on the public to stage this collective act of solidarity three-nights in a row.

Duvar English

People in Turkey on March 19 staged a show of support for the country's health officials to thank them for their efforts to protect the population from the coronavirus.

Residents of apartment blocks across Turkey came out onto their balconies and applauded the medical staff.

The tribute came after Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca asked lawmakers during a speech at the parliament on March 19 to express their appreciation to the country's medical professionals and to applaud them.

A citizen in Ankara joins the collective applause with his bağlama -- a Turkish string folk instrument.

Afterwards, a campaign was initiated on social media for Turks to take to their balconies at 9 p.m. local time.

At 8.59 p.m. local time, Minister Koca urged people to join the collective applause, saying: “At 2 p.m. today, during my speech at the parliament, I called on representatives of my nation to applaud our health workers. And now at exactly 9 p.m., I call on our nation to raise this applause voice from balconies across Turkey.”

Several politicians and celebrities showed their support for the collective action on their social media accounts.

A hashtag #BeraberBasaracagiz – #wewillsucceedtogether in English – went viral on social media, with video clips showing people applauding health officials.

Two people walking on street in Istanbul's Kadıköy district also join the collective applause.

Afterwards, Koca posted a second tweet and thanked citizens for showing their respect to the medical staff. "You gave strength to our devoted healthcare professionals with your applause," he wrote.

Koca, who is also a medical doctor, called on the public to continue to show their gratitude with their applause three-nights in a row.

Here are some of the videos shared on social media showing the collective act of solidarity on March 19 evening.