CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that more than two million workers in Turkey have lost their jobs due to measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak. "They had to start a campaign to keep people home. This current campaign has only led to one thing: unemployment," he said. "They will get unemployment wages from the unemployment fund for a short time, but there are no guarantees after that," he added.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, has said that discussions with Turkey regarding the continued implementation of the March 2016 are continuing. The talks between the two sides were initiated after Ankara announced in February that it would no longer stop migrants trying to cross its border into the EU, saying circumstances had changed since 2016, when the migrant deal was forged.
Relinquishing its vocation to be a social state, the Turkish government is now providing us with its bank details amid the coronavirus pandemic. What this shows is that the Turkish state does not intend to give a helping hand to citizens during tough times. Despite that, it is not ready to give up on its endless wars in Syria and Libya.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has called on the state-owned Vakıfbank to send the money raised as part of a coronavirus aid campaign back to the municipality. Following the government's move banning municipalities from raising funds for low-income families, Vakıfbank had blocked the Istanbul municipality's donation account in which 900,000 Turkish Liras [approximately $136,000] were deposited.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed municipalities run by the main opposition CHP for launching donation campaigns to collect money to be used in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic., saying "There is no point in being a state within the state." Eleven CHP metropolitan municipalities, meanwhile, released a statement on April 1, saying that it's legal for the municipalities to accept donations.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu has slammed the government's penal reform package for excluding politicians and activists. Calling on the government to prepare a new draft bill that includes citizens imprisoned on political grounds, Tanrıkulu questioned the reason for why precautions adopted around the world to prevent prisoners from being infected with coronavirus aren't implemented in Turkey.
Turkey has sent medical aid packages with Jalaluddin Rumi's words on to Italy and Spain, the countries worst hit by the novel coronavirus in Europe, to help their fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness," read the banners placed on the aid packages.
The municipalities of Istanbul and Ankara, both run by the main opposition CHP, have launched a lawsuit against the Interior Ministry over a circular blocking them from holding donation campaigns to help citizens in need during the coronavirus outbreak.
Turkey's Central Bank provided more stimulus for the financial sector and economy on March 31, saying it would ramp up government debt buying and offer new pools of cheap funding to stem the fallout from a growing coronavirus outbreak. The Central Bank also extended 60 billion lira ($9 billion) worth of rediscount credits and added more lending options well below its 9.75% policy rate. It said the moves would provide much needed credit to companies and liquidity to government debt markets.
Iran said on March 31 its natural gas exports to Turkey have stopped after an attack on a pipeline inside the neighbouring country, Mehdi Jamshidi-Dana, director of National Iranian Gas Co., told Iran's state news agency IRNA. "The pipeline has exploded several times in the past. It is also likely that the PKK group has carried out the blast," he said.
Turkey’s presidential palace spent 4.5 million lira in 2018, a report by the Court of Accounts revealed. Annual spending at the palace totaled 1,648,678,000 lira, 705 million of which was not itemized in the report.
Turkey's Interior Ministry has announced that 39 residential areas in 18 provinces were put under quarantine in a bid to prevent the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus (COVID-19). Quarantines are underway in one town, six neighborhoods, 28 villages and four hamlets, the ministry said.
A government-appointed trustee in the southeastern province of Batman has removed Kurdish from the municipality's website. The municipality website now serves only in Turkish. Meanwhile, ousted co-mayor Mehmet Demir said that the trustee resumed construction in buildings that were ruled to be demolished due to being unsafe.
A group of prominent Turkish academics have urged the government to announce an extraordinary spending program to tackle the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "The state should prepare an extraordinary spending program. It should include support for medical expenditures," the statement read. "Public and private hospitals must provide health services free of charge and the hospitals failing to abide by this must be deprivatized," it added.
Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya urged Istanbulites to stay home for the next 48 hours in bid to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). "For your health, family, loved ones, Istanbul and our country, don't leave your house for 48 hours," Yerlikaya tweeted on March 29.