Police officers in the southern province of Adana chased off crowds by shooting guns in the air during the nationwide curfew for Eid al-Fitr. The crowds were in violation of the nationwide curfew that aims to prevent large gatherings that are traditional to the end of Ramadan.
President Erdoğan has reiterated Turkey's support for Palestine, saying that the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is a red line for all Muslims. "I would like to reiterate that al-Quds Al-Sharif, the holy site of three religions and our first kiblah, is a red line for all Muslims worldwide," Erdoğan said. "We will not allow the Palestinian lands to be offered to anyone else," he added.
Following the Ramadan holiday, it is expected that clinics in Turkey will start to function as normal with certain conditions imposed based on the decline in the number of new daily cases. While expecting a busy wave of patients at all medical facilities, medical experts urge the government to review the health system's needs.
Mesut Özdemir, the head of an Islamist association, has said that men can break their fasts during Ramadan by having sex with their wives "if they miss them so much." "Let me tell you, maybe you'll find it weird. A person can break his fast by having sex with his wife if he missed her so much. This exists in the Islamic law," Özdemir said during a TV show titled "Believer Youth" aired in the fundamentalist Akit TV.
A senior official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) reportedly told BBC Turkish that a curfew would be implemented during the three-day Eid al-Fitr that celebrates the end of Ramadan. The official said that many families gather for the holiday, hug, and often kiss each other on the cheeks and hands, which risks spreading COVID-19.
The head of Turkey’s top religious authority has once again targeted LGBT individuals during a sermon. “Islam curses homosexuality. What is the reason of that? The reason is that it brings with it illnesses and decay to lineage,” Ali Erbaş said on April 24, while addressing the novel coronavirus outbreak. Last year, Erbaş had claimed that the pride march “goes against creation,” calling same-sex relations “heresy."
A Turkish professor that specializes in infectious diseases has said that if people gather for crowded dinners to break their fast ("iftar") and flout social distancing measures, then all the efforts to fight the coronavirus epidemic will have gone in vain.
Ankara Municipality launches donation campaign to distribute meals to senior, low income residents during Ramadan
The Ankara Municipality created a website where any Internet user can donate a traditional meal to someone who needs it during the month of Ramadan. Families of paper collectors, whose operations have been halted, as well as senior persons who are under curfew and low income families will be prioritized, the municipality announced.
Turkey's Interior Ministry cancelled mass gatherings for the breaking of fasts, increased public transportation and limited access to shrines during the month of Ramadan. A staple of Ramadan traditions, the meal at the end of a day of fasting are treated as an occasion to gather in large crowds.
Vice President Fuat Oktay said on April 17 that some 25,000 Turkish citizens in 59 countries will be brought to Turkey in order for them to spend the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the subsequent Eid al-Fitr at home with their loved ones.
Turkey's top religious body, Diyanet, has said that fasting during the month of Ramadan is a religious duty which cannot be deferred due to the coronavirus epidemic. It said in an official statement that there is no scientific evidence of a link between fasting and contracting the virus.