Editor: Azra Ceylan
Turkish government’s sudden decision on April 10 to declare a 48-hour curfew for 31 major cities triggered panic and chaos pushing thousands of Turks to rush to stores on a Friday night for last-minute purchases without taking necessary precautions against the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown was announced only two hours in advance while main opposition CHP-led municipalities were kept in the dark by the government until the last minute.
Rumors circulated in Ankara over the weekend that Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca was not aware of the decision to impose a two-day curfew on 31 provinces. Furthermore, members of the Health Ministry’s Science Commission were also reportedly not notified of the curfew beforehand, prompting them to hand their resignations to Koca.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on Twitter that he resigned late on April 12 taking responsibility for a poorly timed announcement of the weekend curfew. However, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu’s resignation.
Although this episode was recorded a few hours before the resignation saga, you will find the reasons for the recent political fallout in Ankara which led to an unprecedented show of force from a critical member of President Erdoğan’s cabinet.
Duvar English’s editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel and pollster Can Selçuki look for answers to how Erdoğan government’s failure to manage the COVID-19 crisis might affect the power struggle in Turkey.
This podcast was prepared with support from Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s Turkey Representation.