Turkey will establish two hospitals with a capacity of 1,000 beds each in Istanbul to treat patients infected with the disease, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 6. Erdoğan said one of the hospitals will be built on the area where the-now closed Atatürk Airport is located on the European side, and the other one in the district of Sancaktepe on the Asian side.
Turkey has taken a series of new measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the death toll hit 425. The country has imposed a curfew for citizens younger than 20 years of age and has made mask-wearing in public areas compulsory.
An Istanbul court has rejected the metropolitan municipality's request for the cancellation of a concession tender on the rental of unused warehouses at the symbolic Haydarpaşa and Sirkeci train stations. "It is very meaningful to announce this decision, which has been put on hold for months now, at the time of the coronavirus epidemic,” Mayor İmamoğlu said.
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.
Turkey is better off than many other countries in terms of handling the current coronavirus crisis, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said. “Thank God, we are at a better position compared to many countries, but we do not see this as sufficient. The biggest threat that disrupts the struggle [against coronavirus] is pessimism,” he said.
The government has no strategy to deal with the coronavirus crisis. It is also clear that scientific evidence and models are not being followed. Those patterns of behavior already prevailed with regards to Turkey’s economic crises, to the Syrian fiasco, the refugee crisis and to the its failing presidential system.
Government’s donation request letter sent to minority foundations ‘means of oppression,’ HDP MP says
HDP MP Garo Paylan asked in parliamentary question why the government sent a letter to the country's minority foundations seeking donations from them within the context of a recently launched campaign amid coronavirus outbreak. "The relevant donation campaign, which has been launched under the name of 'solidarity,' has turned into a tool of oppression,” Paylan said.
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.
A group of Turkish firms have collaborated to undertake the domestic mass production of medical respirators, which are critical in treating COVID-19. One of these firms is Baykar, a company co-owned by Selçuk Bayraktar, the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Turkish President Erdoğan has launched a national donation campaign to offer financial help to those hit by the coronavirus outbreak. “Within the context of 'We are enough for each other, Turkey' campaign, a bank account has been opened by the Family, Labor and Social Services ministry. I initiate the campaign by donating my seven months of salary," Erdoğan said on March 30.
Renowned Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran said that right-wing populist leaders in the world are failing in their leadership skills regarding the struggle against the novel coronavirus. “They [right-wing leaders] are all retreating, we don't see them as often as before. They love to speak normally,” she said during an interview with pan-European political movement DiEM25.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has shared a video showing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan listening to the Muslim call to prayer in Granada. "May Allah make us reach days that we perform prayers in mosques altogether, shoulder to shoulder," Altun said.
Turkey's Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan has been removed from his post by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Several social media users alleged that Turhan was removed from duty over criticism of the timing of a recently held tender related to the controversial Kanal Istanbul project.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a series of new measures against the coronavirus, including suspending all international flights, as the country's death toll from coronavirus reached 92 on March 27.
The Turkish government is going ahead with the controversial Kanal Istanbul project, despite widespread opposition and the current crisis stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. On March 26, it held a tender for the reconstruction of two bridges on the route of the project.