Turkey in process of normalization after fighting COVID-19



Turkey, where the first case of COVID-19 was detected on March 11, 2020, entered a “controlled normalization process” after a year with strict measures.

After COVID-19, which originated in China, turned into a global pandemic, many countries around the world took steps to reduce mass mobility to stop the spread of the virus.

Turkey’s first step in this direction was to shut down air traffic with some countries before March 11, when its first case was observed.

Immediately after the appearance of the first case, strict measures were put in place.

Education has been closed, cafes, bars, restaurants and public places such as shopping malls, libraries and places of worship have been temporarily closed, and public events have been canceled.

Citizens have been urged to “stay at home” and urged to avoid social contact and work remotely if possible, and public institutions and private companies have taken steps in this direction.

Curfew and intercity travel restrictions were imposed and quarantine measures were implemented.

The dates of the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic in Turkey and the related measures are as follows:

– February 29, 2020: As of midnight, all passenger flights between Turkey and Italy, Turkey and South Korea, and Turkey and Iraq have been halted as a precaution.

– March 11, 2020: The first case of COVID-19 has been detected in Turkey.

– March 12, 2020: It has been decided that the sports competitions will be played without an audience until the end of April.

– March 13, 2020: 10,330 citizens who returned from Saudi Arabia, where they went to do Umrah, were quarantined two days after the detection of the first case.

– March 14, 2020: To fight the COVID-19 epidemic, Turkey closed all border doors to passengers from Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands.

– March 16, 2020: Face-to-face teaching in primary, secondary and secondary schools has been suspended.

Private nurseries, nurseries and private children’s clubs have been put on leave until a new announcement.

Activities in pavilions, nightclubs, bars and nightclubs have been temporarily suspended.

A visitation restriction has been imposed on all nursing homes.

Libraries affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism have been closed to the service.

Friday prayers have been suspended in all mosques, including prayers with the congregation.

– March 17, 2020: From midnight, theaters, cinemas, performing arts centers, concert halls, engagement halls, restaurants, cafes, casinos, pubs, taverns, cafes, cafeterias, tea gardens, internet cafes, all games rooms, indoor play areas for children, association clubhouses, amusement parks, swimming pools, hammams, massage parlors and spa and fitness centers have ceased to be active.

General assemblies of NGOs, trainings and all kinds of meetings in which people gathered collectively and the activities of condolence houses where citizens collectively coexisted were also postponed.

Flights to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Iraq were suspended without incident in Turkey, while flights to nine other countries, including Germany, France, l Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and the Netherlands have been suspended.

– March 21, 2020: Turkey extends flight suspensions to a total of 68 countries.

– The activities of hairdressers, hairdressers and beauty centers were stopped and it was decided that mass sending ceremonies of soldiers would not be allowed.

– March 22, 2020: Starting at midnight, citizens aged 65 and over as well as people suffering from chronic diseases were prevented from leaving their residences.

– March 23, 2020: Students began to continue their studies at home via the Internet and TV channels.

– March 27, 2020: Long-distance travel has been tied to a governor’s permit, the private sector has switched to a flexible working system, and foreign flights have been halted.

– April 4, 2020: From midnight in 30 metropolitan areas and Zonguldak province on the Turkish Black Sea coast, where lung conditions are common, entry and exit has been banned.

A curfew restriction on people aged 65 and over is extended to young people and children under 20.

Masks are mandatory at the entrances to bazaar spaces, markets and workplaces where people work collectively.

– April 7, 2020: The “Social Sciences Council” was created to fight COVID-19.

– April 10-12, 2020: The first curfew restriction was enforced in Zonguldak province, where lung disease is common, with 30 metropolitan areas.

– April 18, 2020: As part of the fight against COVID-19, the Ministry of Health has set up a mobile application, “Life Fits Home” (Hayat Eve Sigar), in which citizens can watch the situations at risk in their regions and monitor their health.

– April 23, 2020: The epidemic saw the first peak of the first wave.

– May 10, 2020: Beginning of the period of “controlled social life”. Citizens aged 65 and over, who were not allowed to go out on the streets from March 22, went out with a time limit after a 50-day break. Children 14 and under were first allowed on the streets on May 13 and children and adolescents between 15 and 20 were allowed on the streets for the first time on May 15.

– May 11, 2020: As part of the “controlled social life”, barbers, hairdressers and beauty centers, shopping malls, market places, restaurants and cafes have started to operate, provided that the determined measures are implemented .

– May 27, 2020: Hotels and hostels have started accepting guests by taking COVID-19 measures.

– May 29, 2020: The first Friday prayers took place approximately 2.5 months after the restriction of mass worship.

– June 1, 2020: In the process of the COVID-19 epidemic, the period of “New Normalization” has started.

Public officials who are on administrative leave or involved in a flexible working system are transferred to the normal working period.

The restriction on interurban travel has been completely lifted. Crèches and day care centers have all been opened. Businesses such as restaurants, cafes and bakeries as well as museums, beaches, national parks and gardens were operating under established rules.

Private preschool educational establishments, foreign language, computer and driving courses have been opened.

The instruction that public transport and city personnel services will be accepted as passengers at the rate of 50% of the passenger carrying capacity specified in the vehicle license has been repealed.

– June 15, 2020: The wedding halls are operational under certain conditions.

– July 1, 2020: Cinemas, theaters, performance centers and wedding venues began to serve the public in accordance with the rules.

– July 21, 2020: Restrictions on working hours for businesses such as restaurants, cafes and tea gardens have been lifted.

– August 26, 2020: employees of public institutions and organizations have had the opportunity to work in a flexible way, such as remote work, work-study work.

– September 2, 2020: Street / village weddings, circumcision ceremonies, henna parties and engagement ceremonies have been restricted across the country.

– October 12, 2020: Beginning of face-to-face teaching for the second, third, fourth, eighth and twelfth years.

– November 17, 2020: restriction decisions were again taken with the increase in the number of new cases.

-Nov. January 20, 2020: It was decided to continue formal, private and non-formal education activities with distance education until Monday January 4.

A Chinese-origin COVID-19 vaccine, which began Phase 3 studies in Turkey, has also started being given to citizen volunteers after volunteer health workers.

Take-out services were introduced in restaurants and cinemas, and entertainment venues were closed.

A curfew has been imposed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. GMT) on weekends and a curfew has been imposed between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (07:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. GMT) on weekdays for people over 65 and over. at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. (1000 – 1300 GMT) on weekdays for under 20s.

– November 25, 2020: Health Minister Fahrettin Koca first announced the “number of cases”, expressing those who have tested positive for COVID-19. As of this date, the number of those whose PCR tests were positive in one day was 28,351.

– November 28, 2020: Health Minister Koca said they have reached the first agreements on a COVID-19 vaccine and that negotiations with alternative manufacturers are continuing.

– December 1, 2020: A curfew restriction has started across the country which will be enforced on weekdays between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (6:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. GMT) until a new decision is made.

– December 7, 2020: Quarantine period for close contacts reduced from 14 days to 10 days. The second peak in the course of the disease was observed during the first week of December.

– January 2, 2021: Variants of the COVID-19 virus found in England, South Africa and Brazil were first detected in Turkey.

– January 13, 2021: As part of the social vaccination, the Minister of Health Koca and the members of the Scientific Council received the first dose of the CoronaVac vaccine.

– January 14, 2021: In accordance with the vaccination schedule, health workers received the first dose of CoronaVac vaccine and the vaccination process was implemented according to the order of priority set by the Ministry of Health.

– February 8, 2021: The quarantine period for close contacts of variant strains has been set at 10 days and the isolation has been decided to cease if the PCR test is negative after 10 days.

– February 15, 2021: Beginning of face-to-face teaching in village schools and nursery schools.

In the fight against COVID-19, the period of “decentralization” has begun. As the first application of this period, the 7-day case count table (Weekly case numbers by province) on a provincial basis covering February 8-14 related to the outbreak has been shared with the public for review. first time on COVID- 19 Ministry of Health information page.

– March 1, 2021: As part of the practices of the “on-site decision” period, the provincial sanitation authorities have been authorized to make regional decisions in the provinces divided into risk groups linked to COVID-19.

– March 2, 2021: Beginning of the “Controlled Standardization” process.

In this context, the curfew restrictions depending on the risk situations in the provinces and under what conditions catering places can be used were explained.

Again, depending on the risk situation of the provinces, it was determined which levels of students would begin face-to-face teaching under what conditions.

In the context of “controlled standardization”, province-based measures have either been relaxed or increased on issues such as swimming pools and similar facilities.

* Written by Merve Berker

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