People defy calls for staying at home
Despite warnings from the authorities to the public to stay at home and a partial lockdown declared to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, a number of people chose to go out fishing, jogging or taking a stroll on the streets.
Ignoring advices from health experts, people flocked to the parks and promenades in Istanbul, the country’s most populated city.
But Istanbul was no exception. In other cities, residents leisurely walked on the streets and visited parks.
Turkey on March 21 imposed a partial curfew for citizens aged 65 and over and those with chronic diseases, effective as of midnight, as part of measures against the coronavirus outbreak.
The country had already banned flights scores of nations, closed schools, cafes and bars, banned mass prayers and indefinitely postponed matches in its main sports leagues
The police in Istanbul worked hard to convince elderly citizens who broke the curfew rules to go back home.
“I live alone and am not a well-off person. I can only make ends meet. I am aware of the curfew but there is not much to do about it. I cannot spend the whole day all alone at home,” said Necmi Özlü, who is 68 years old.
“I have lived long enough. I won’t object if I am fined for breaking the rule. I will visit my friends. I am not afraid of the virus,” he added.
A number of people also went out for jogging and walking along the waterfront in Istanbul’s upscale Bebek and Arnavutköy neighborhoods.
“I was bored at home and decided to come down there for fishing. I will barbeque the catch on my balcony,” said Kadir Kandemir.
Police units with their bullhorns on their patrol cars called on people, who flocked to the parks and waterfronts, to return home.