CHP MP slams justice ministry for not revealing number of coronavirus cases in prisons for nearly 50 days
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi has slammed Turkey's Justice Ministry for not revealing the number of coronavirus cases in prisons for nearly 50 days. "A heightening risk is in question at prisons, but the ministry is more concerned about hiding the number of cases than struggling against the virus," she said.
Experts have claimed that the Health Ministry has been hiding the actual number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country amid the worsening situation, as they pointed to the removal of two significant parameters from a chart shared daily by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. They also voiced concerns on a second wave that would put the health system in a difficult situation.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Turkey is the same as the past few days' average, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on July 26, when some 927 new patients were diagnosed.
Social distancing was completely forgotten around Istanbul's Hagia Sophia ahead of its opening as a mosque, prompting concerns on the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Health Minister Fahrettin Koca shared warnings on Twitter, urging people to follow precautions. "First comes precautions, then takbir," Koca said, referring to the Arabic term for the phrase God is great.
Turkey has suspended flights to Iran and Afghanistan as part of the measures against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the country's transport ministry said on July 19. Earlier, a spokesman for Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, Reza Jafarzadeh, said that the suspension of flights had begun on July 18.
Turkey's Central Bank has said that the removal of certain preventive measures imposed to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the ensuing demand were the primary factors influencing inflation in June. According to the Central Bank's report, consumer prices went up 1.13 percent in June, rising 1.23 points and increasing 12.62 percent annually.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that Turkey was treated unfairly with the decision to exclude it from the European Union's safe travel list. "We see that Turkey is being treated unfairly and that some countries were included in the list as a political gesture," he said, adding that the decision to exclude Turkey is political.
The wife of an inmate diagnosed with cancer and coronavirus has urged the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to release her husband. "This means he has been abandoned to die. I am calling upon the public, the Presidency, and the Ministry of Health: Release my husband right away. There are thousands of [coronavirus] patients in jail, their voices must be heard. People are coming face to face with death at the moment,” she said.
A new testing center in Istanbul Airport will offer all passengers COVID-19 tests for 110 Turkish Liras each (about $16). The center's capacity is an hourly 2,000.
The Turkish football club Beşiktaş announced on June 25 that two of its players have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The Istanbul club said that treatment has started for the players whose names were not disclosed.
CHP Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel submitted two written parliamentary questions to Vice President Fuat Oktay on the donations collected as part of a coronavirus campaign, asking the total amount and where they were spent. Surprisingly, Oktay referred the question to the Family and Social Policies Ministry, even though the whole campaign was carried out by Erdoğan himself.
Two human rights groups have said that the Turkish government is using the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to restrict freedoms. "No unusual circumstances, whether it be a state or threat of war, political instability or any other extraordinary events, can be given as a reason to apply torture," they said.
Turkey is in talks with the UK for the creation of a “travel corridor” to welcome British tourists from July, the Financial Times reported. A Turkish government official told the newspaper that the agreement with the UK is close and that a provisional date for the restart of travel between the two countries has been set for July 15.
Germany is talking to Ankara about reviewing travel restrictions with Turkey but is waiting for a European Union recommendation before taking any decisions, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on June 3. "We see that Turkey is making great efforts, but I can't give a forecast on how and when a decision will be taken," he added.
İzmir's Efes Selçuk district, most well-known for the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, one of Turkey's most iconic tourist destinations, has launched a sweeping project focusing on local, sustainable agricultural production. “The coronavirus became a very clear indicator for why we started this. We need to incentivize production, and get people involved in agriculture, because there is already enough of an unemployment problem in this country,” Efes Selçuk Mayor Filiz Çeritoğlu Şengel told Duvar.