Erdoğan says Turkey nears end of virus outbreak
"The picture after the normalization steps we took shows that we are on the right track,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in remarks for Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Addressing the 81 provincial heads of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) via teleconference, Erdoğan thanked the public for staying at home during a four-day curfew over the holiday.
Turkey imposed a four-day nationwide curfew during Eid al-Fitr on May 23 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Praising Turkey's health sector investments, Erdogan asserted that these had turned out to be prudent in the fight against the coronavirus.
"I believe that we will overcome this epidemic period with the least damage through this [new normal] lifestyle, that we can summarize as wearing masks, compliance with physical distance, attention to cleanliness," Erdoğan added.
Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.
The U.S., Russia, Brazil, and several European countries are currently the hardest hit in the world.
Party members to tell of gov’t achievements to nation until 2023 elections
Meanwhile, Erdoğan asked the provincial heads of his party to conduct visits to citizens after Eid al-Fitr to convey the government’s achievements and services until the 2023 elections.
“We should start working starting on Wednesday when the curfew restriction ends. Until 2023, we should be working hard on this issue. We have three years to implement the programs and strengthen the bond with our nation,” he said,
He asked them to explain to the nation the projects and services the government has carried out over the years.
Erdoğan said he does not doubt that if all of the party members work voluntarily and do their best in reaching out to people, the nation will give its support to the AKP.
“Until the elections there is no stopping or rest for any of us,” he added.
He warned that they should not allow the opposition, “those who could not digest the presidential government system and its contributions,” to “poison” the nation.
“We must explain what the AKP has achieved,” he said, listing projects such as Marmaray, Osmangazi Bridge, mass housing, and the changes made from education to justice, health to security, as well as railways.
“We must explain that we are constructing sturdy housing. In the same way, we must explain that we give no respite to organized crime organizations. We must explain that we have improved the coordination between the national defense, interior and foreign ministries, and our security institutions led by MİT [National Intelligence Organization],” Erdoğan stated.
The president asked the party members to talk about judicial reforms, the decision to lift the military courts, and success achieved to destroy terrorist organizations.
“We have to explain that we have made significant improvements in justice services, from legislation to infrastructure, to judicial independence and impartiality. We must explain that we have increased the number of judges and prosecutors more than twice to 21,000 and the number of assistant personnel from 51,000 to 138,000,” Erdoğan noted.