The COVID-19 story begins on 8 December 2019 when a resident in Wuhan City, China, was found to have symptoms of an unknown coronavirus.

On January 7 2020, the disease was identified by Chinese authorities as a new type of coronavirus, novel coronavirus, or nCoV.

On January 30 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

On March 11 2020 the WHO makes the assessment that COVID-19 can be officially described as a pandemic due to the rapid increase in the number of cases outside China. 

It has brought the global economy to a standstill, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projecting global growth will fall to -3% percent this year.

On March 11 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Turkey.

Since the first case was confirmed in Turkey, the virus has reached every corner of the country, all 81 provinces. The government have introduced a number of measures to contain Covid-19 without shutting down the economy. 

On March 21 2020, the Ministry of the Interior announced a total curfew for those who are over the age 65 or chronically ill

On April 3 2020, the curfew was extended to people younger than 20 years old, (those aged between 18 and 20 employed in the public or private sector are exempt from the curfew).

On April 10 2020, the Ministry of the Interior ordered a curfew for the upcoming weekend in the 30 provinces with metropolitan status and Zonguldak, starting from 12:00 am on 11 April and lasting for 48 hours.

On April 13 2020, President Erdoğan announced in an address that, until further notice, such curfews would be in force during subsequent weekends.

Click here for full details of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Turkey.

Fethiye – in the time of coronavirus

We live and breathe coronavirus news morning, noon and night. It’s the only topic of conversation and, at the moment, we live for the “flattening of the curve”, the first sign that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

On weekdays, those of us who are not under total curfew, are able to go out for essential needs and the streets of Fethiye, whilst quieter than usual for the time of year, still have people going about their daily lives – wearing masks and, for the main part, adhering to “social distancing” measures.

During the total curfews at the weekend, things are completely different.

Armed with written permission to be out, cameras and a bottle of water, Fethiye Times went on an outing to take a look

Deserted streets, shuttered windows, empty shores; here’s our photographic record of Fethiye under curfew.

The streets around Fethiye on Saturday April 25all empty.

Fethiye - in the time of coronavirus

The Kordon and Beşkaza Meydanı (Town Square) would usually be a hive of activity on a sunny day, especially at the weekend – all empty.

Only the sound of birds and water lapping at the hulls of the boats in the harbour interrupt the silence. The emptiness is both incredibly sad and comforting at the same time.

Fethiye - in the time of coronavirus
Fethiye - in the time of coronavirus

This dog had picked his spot and was having an undisturbed snooze in the sun. Completely unperturbed!

Fethiye - in the time of coronavirus

Paspatur (Old Town) is reminiscent of a scene from an apocalyptic movie with not a sound to be heard, not even the birds singing – everywhere empty.

I walk through Çarşı 95 – the street is empty.

A trip to the fish market is a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike; chose your fresh fish and have it cooked at one of the surrounding restaurants. Now, the only visitor a bemused cat, everywhere else is silent – and empty.

Shops, restaurants and cafes are closed up, some with furniture piled away and shutters drawn – all empty.

There were some signs of life from those exempt from the curfew…

Fethiye - in the time of coronavirus
Bakers bring bread to people in their home during curfew
Fethiye - in the time of coronavirus
And gas companies are exempt from the curfew too

Here’s a video clip for you to see for yourself…

Wandering the streets of an empty Fethiye certainly puts things into perspective and makes you wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Next we’ll be having a look at Şehit Fethiye Bey Parkı and Çalış – in the time of coronavirus.

Stay safe everyone…

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