President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the lifting of the weekend curfew set in place for 15 cities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hours after the Interior Ministry announced the newest curfew.
Millions were hoping that last weekend’s curfew would be the last after the country removed a string of restrictions on travel and businesses on Monday. However, the Interior Ministry ordered another curfew for Saturday and Sunday for 15 cities late Thursday.
Tweeting his decision on Friday, Erdoğan said he did not want citizens to “go through another plight after they were resuming their daily life after a break of two and a half months,” referring to the “new normal” in which businesses reopened and travel restrictions between cities were lifted starting Monday.
“As a matter of fact, we would not have imposed a curfew this week but the daily number of cases that once dropped to around 700 rose to 1,000 again and we had to put it back on the agenda,” Erdoğan said, adding that calls from the public made him “review the decision.”
“It is clear that this (curfew) decision would lead to different social and economic consequences,” he said.
The president, on the other hand, reiterated his call to the public to adhere to rules to combat the pandemic, mainly, wearing protective masks, keeping social distance and being diligent about hygiene.