Turkey’s death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 5,131, as it reported 16 new fatalities, Health Ministry data showed on June 30. According to test results, the total number of COVID-19 cases nationwide reached 199,906 with 1,293 new infections.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter that society was not putting enough effort to control the spread of the virus.
“We are not determined enough in decreasing the case numbers and not careful enough in the measures,” Koca wrote.
In a separate Tweet, Koca also warned the public against crowded celebrations that are held among friends and family members of newly recruited soldiers who are about to leave for their compulsory military service.
“We are more and more coming across news of military service send-off ceremonies which are held without complying with COVID-19 measures. Those doing send-offs in such a way are not doing a favor to themselves or helping their friends. Who would want their friend to start their national service having been diagnosed positive [for COVID-19]?” Koca wrote on Twitter.
Turkish families usually mark the beginning of their sons’ military service with celebrations that come in all different forms across the country.
While wedding-style parties including dance and music are popular in more rural areas, urban celebrations usually come in the shape of a convoy of cars.
In recent years, send-off celebrations in big cities, especially in Istanbul, have turned into occasions that interrupt traffic.