Turkey postpones all science, culture and arts events until end of April
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a decree on March 20 postponing all events related to science, culture and arts until the end of April, as it seeks to contain a surge in coronavirus cases.
In the circular published in the Official Gazette, it was stated that the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that emerged in China poses a threat to public health worldwide.
“Due to the recommendations of the Coronavirus Scientific Committee within the Health Ministry regarding the prevention of the spread of the mentioned disease in our country, it is deemed appropriate to postpone any scientific, cultural, artistic and similar meetings or activities to be held in open or closed areas at national and international level until the end of April,” said the decree.
Erdoğan said on March 18 that Turkish citizens should stay home for at least three weeks, but did not ask them to stay away from work.
Ankara has suspended flights to 20 countries, closed schools, cafes and bars, banned mass prayers and indefinitely postponed matches in its main sports leagues.
Clothing retailers shuttered, dimming the economy’s prospects and raising questions for hundreds of thousands of workers.
Malls, with some 530,000 employees and an annual turnover of $160 billion, were set to follow suit.