On 12 March, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan chaired a meeting of the country’s top policymakers at the Presidential Complex and authorized the following steps to flatten the curve
Primary, middle and high schools shut their doors, effective 16 March, and Spring Break was moved up by one week. Classes would resume on 23 March in the form of remote education.
All universities were suspended for a period of 3 weeks as of 16 March. The Board of Higher Education (YÖK) was ordered to update the academic calendar in cooperation with university administrators.
All public officials at higher risk (over 60 years of age, expecting and nursing mothers, chronically ill) were placed on administrative leave.
The Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM) postponed all centralized examinations.
On the recommendation of experts, fans would be banned from all sporting events to prevent physical contact between citizens. All football, basketball, volleyball and handball competitions were subsequently suspended.
All private kindergartens, day care centers and children’s clubs were closed indefinitely.
Non-critical court hearings and judicial proceedings, along with cultural events, national and international science conventions and military exercises, were postponed. The Ministry of Justice authorized judges to postpone hearings at will, lifting the traditional requirement of an attorney’s request, in order to limit physical contact at courthouses.
The Interior Ministry was instructed to order the temporary closure of cafés, cinemas and theaters, concert halls, gyms, barber shops, hair salons and beauty parlors, as well as limit the operations of restaurants to take-out and delivery service.
All commercial flights with pandemic-stricken countries were canceled.
Under Vice President Fuat Oktay’s supervision, the repatriation of Turkish citizens, including students and tourists, would be completed without delay.
Communal prayers were banned; mosques and masjids around the country suspended their operations on Fridays.
The admission of paying military recruits was suspended.
The Ministry of National Defense took steps to deliver personal protective equipment and surgical masks to all military personnel operating at the nation’s borders.
The Ministry of Energy temporarily suspended the requirement of mixing ethanol into gasoline.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry established a working group to monitor developments and called for more strict implementation of food safety regulations and set up a hotline for citizens to report irregularities.
Under the President’s orders, senior and chronically ill citizens were no longer required to visit their doctors to refill their prescriptions.
President Erdoğan cancelled his international trips.
With the exception of extraordinary circumstances, all public officials were required to obtain written permission from their superiors to travel abroad.