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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson Faik Öztrak has slammed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over sending coronavirus aid to a number of countries when Turkish people can’t get masks.

“They couldn’t distribute five masks to people in the past month, but they sent planes full of masks to Britain, Spain and Italy to show off,” Öztrak said, referring to the government’s decision to distribute five masks free of charge to each citizen once in every 10 days.

The government announced that citizens will be able to get masks from pharmacies upon receiving a text from the Health Ministry that contains a unique code. However, the government is criticized for not sending texts with the code or handing a limited amount of masks to pharmacies.

During his speech Öztrak also slammed the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for struggling against the services provided by CHP municipalities instead of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that their concerns are not the people.

“The fact that investigations were launched into our Ankara and Istanbul mayors illegally, the bank accounts of the soup kitchens of the municipalities were seized, the distribution of bread by the municipality in [the southern province of] Mersin was prevented and the field hospital constructed by the municipality in [the southern province of] Adana was attempted to be sealed off shows that the presidency is not concerned about the people,” Öztrak said.

Delay caused by ‘lack of permission’

Elsewhere, British authorities said that a planned delivery of 84 tonnes of PPE from Turkey was not carried out as scheduled.

In a press briefing on April 18, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said that 84 tonnes of PPE, including 400,000 gowns, was due to arrive in the UK from Turkey on April 19.

According to Turkish authorities, the delay was caused by British authorities’ failure in making an application to receive permission for exports.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman on April 20 said more than 12 million items of PPE had been delivered the previous day and that the government was “working round the clock” amid “unprecedented global demand” to get the items needed to safeguard staff from COVID-19.

“On Turkey we are working to ensure that shipment is delivered as soon as it’s ready,” he said, adding that the country is not reliant solely on Turkey for the delivery of gowns.