Turkish right-wing opposition Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener has urged members of the Health Ministry’s Science Commission to quit if their suggestions on the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are not taken into account by the government.
Akşener said that the commission suggested “full quarantine,” meaning a curfew, to curb the spread of the highly contagious virus, but it was rejected by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“If what they suggest is not followed, then they have to resign. They are scientists,” Akşener said in an interview on April 9, while calling for the suggestions to be made public.
“The suggestions of the Science Commission depend on the Erdoğan. We know that the commission asked for a full quarantine. It should have been implemented, but Erdoğan rejected it. I’m calling on the scientists to share what they suggested with the people,” she added.
Turkey reported its first coronavirus case on March 11 and its first death on March 18. As of April 9, the number of cases reached 42,282 and the death toll stands at 908.
Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been adopting measures to fight the virus, but fell short of imposing a nationwide curfew. Currently, a curfew is in place for those below the age of 20 and those above the age of 65, as well as for people with chronic illnesses.