Erdogan Cancels Weekend Curfew over Public Backlash
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he decided to cancel a weekend lockdown announced late on Thursday after a public backlash, but he warned of a rise in the number of daily COVID-19 cases.
On Thursday, Turkey's Interior Minister announced that a new two-day weekend curfew will be imposed in 15 of the country’s provinces most affected by the new coronavirus.
In a series of tweets, Erdogan said Friday the government had to impose the weekend lockdown after daily new COVID-19 cases rose from around 700 to nearly 1,000.
"However, the reactions we received from our people pushed us to re-evaluate the decision" and the lockdown is now revoked, he said, urging citizens to follow social distancing and hygiene measures, Reuters reported.
The initial stay-at-home order was supposed to come into effect as of Friday and continue to Sunday in 15 provinces including Istanbul and Ankara.
Turkey has been imposing short weekend and holiday curfews instead of total lockdowns, the Associated Press reported.
The country has earlier banned people above the age of 65 and minors from leaving homes apart from certain days of the week.
It has so far reported more than 167,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,630 deaths.