People swarm streets ahead of Turkey’s weekend curfew

People swarm streets ahead of Turkey’s weekend curfew

People swarm streets ahead of Turkey’s weekend curfew

AFP Photo

People hit the streets for shopping and catching some sun ahead of a 48-hour curfew to be imposed in 31 provinces of Turkey and that will impact 64 million residents.

The Interior Ministry has declared that bakeries, pharmacies as well as private and public health care institutions will be open during the lockdown.

The ministry also announced that police and gendarmerie forces would carry out inspections in those 31 provinces to see if social distancing rules are observed in crowded places such as markets, bakeries, gas stations and public transport ahead of the curfew and whether people are wearing face masks.

Those who violate the rules will be fined.

Despite warnings from officials regarding social distancing and calls for staying at home, a large number of people swarmed the streets of Istanbul’s districts both to be prepared for this weekend’s lockdown and to enjoy the weather.

Some shoppers in the open marketplace in the Esenler district ignored the rules that they should not touch produce. Disinfectant dispensers are installed at the entrance of the market and stallholders distribute gloves to their customers.

“Some people react when we hand them gloves. They may not care about their own lives, but they should be mindful of others’,” said one stallholder.

People formed long queues in front of pharmacies, greengrocers and supermarkets in the Şişli district.

In the Kasımpaşa neighborhood, consumers lined up to buy mixed nuts.

In the Ümraniye district, people flocked to the pedestrian-only street where there are many shops. Long queues formed in front of bank branches.