Turkey will begin a weekend quarantine starting at midnight tonight in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The curfew is a continuation of recent weekend curfews enacted in 31 Turkish provinces as well as in a number of major cities, including Istanbul and Ankara. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has publicly stated that these curfews prevented the spread of the virus and eased the stress on Turkey’s healthcare system. Erdogan has also signaled that he is unwilling to turn to the IMF for aid in fighting the pandemic, citing his unwillingness to put the country in the institution’s debt. Some have questioned whether Erdogan’s short term lockdowns are strong enough, noting that many countries around the world are enacting far stricter quarantining and social distancing regulations.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Turkey is continuing to grow—the country is experiencing some of the highest infection rates in the world. Erdogan has announced plans to open two new hospitals on April 20 and May 5 to combat the strain on the healthcare system. This weekend’s curfew is expected to bring a massive rush to buy essential goods before it is enacted.
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Wescott is a Copy-Editor and Senior Analyst. His thematic focuses are international security, politics, economics and public policy.