Turkey unveils 100 billion liras of aid package to combat coronavirus damage

Turkey unveils 100 billion liras of aid package to combat coronavirus damage

Turkey unveils 100 billion liras of aid package to combat coronavirus damage

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced an aid package of 100 billion Turkish liras (about $15.4 billion) to help overcome the effects of a coronavirus outbreak.

Our top priority is that production and employment do not get interrupted. We will get stronger with public and private solidarity. We are launching a package that will be a shield for our economy,” Erdoğan said.

“With a package, we call the ‘Economic Stability Shield,’ we are unveiling a total of 100 billion liras to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak,” he added.

The president’s remarks came during a press conference after an emergency meeting convened to coordinate the fight against COVID-19.

He announced a series of measures including tax cuts for businesses, the private sector, help for low-income households, the retired and the elderly.

According to the package, the value-added tax on domestic airline transports has been cut to 1 percent from 18 percent for three months.

Erdoğan also said that credit payments for firms affected by the virus have been delayed for three months. There will be additional support for these firms, he added.

He also stated that social security premiums and value-added tax deductions have been postponed for six months.

While announcing the financial precautions the government took to tackle the coronavirus’ effects, Erdoğan also urged citizens to " keep contact with the outside world at a minimum."

“None of our citizens must leave their homes or get in contact with anyone, unless absolutely necessary until the threat disappears,” he said.

“Our citizens, who are going to their offices, should directly return to their homes at the end of the business day and wash their hands and faces with soap as soon as they walk into their homes,” he added.

The president also slammed nations, without elaborating, and said they “allow the disease to spread freely.”

“Pandemics account for a small portion of disease-related deaths. However, failure to stop them may result in mass casualties as a result of epidemic illnesses. We must, therefore, take quick and effective measures against all forms of epidemics,” Erdoğan said.

Turkey has been closely monitoring all developments related to this illness and it has quickly taken all precautions,” he added.