President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the measures could be eased depending on the number of new coronavirus cases leading up to the holiday, he also warned against acting prematurely as he announced a fresh four-day curfew starting on April 23 for the country’s major cities.
Turkish businesses and companies should make preparations to potentially resume operations after Ramadan Bayram, or Eid al-Fitr, he said.
Turkey has imposed such measures over the past two weekends. Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, the president said the lockdown would be longer this time due to a national holiday that falls on Thursday, adding that weekend lockdowns could continue “for some time.”
“Our goal is to continue enforcing these measures so we can bring the outbreak to a level that would allow returning to normal life after Ramadan Bayram. We can even take some steps before Bayram. We also think all businesses could benefit from taking such steps themselves as well,” Erdoğan said.
Urging citizens not to ease up on following precautions, he called for continued solidarity among the public. “Remember, we can only overcome this epidemic if all 83 million of us act together. We can confidently look at our future as long as we embrace our unity, solidarity and brotherhood,” Erdoğan said.
Praising the hard work of both citizens and public officials, Erdoğan said Turkey averted the pandemic from reaching a catastrophic level.
“Turkey’s health care system became the most accessible compared to other nations during the outbreak as we stopped the danger in its tracks with the timely measures we took. We averted the outbreak from reaching catastrophic levels with our citizens following the rules and guidelines,” he said.