Collated from news sources and the Directorate of Communications

Turkey will start easing coronavirus containment measures as of May 11, President Tayyip Erdoğan said, lifting intercity travel restriction in seven provinces and easing a curfew imposed for senior and youth citizens.

In a televised address on Monday (May 4), the president announced that Turkey will gradually take steps to start post-coronavirus normalization as the pace of the spread of the virus has slowed over the past two weeks.

“We have reached an important milestone in the Kovid-19 outbreak, which affects our country as well as the rest of the world.”

“We will gradually start the return to normal life”

“We are making arrangements for a phased release of the measures in May, June and July”

The coronavirus normalization plan

The Turkish government is drawing a substantial road map for a gradual normalization and to ease measures taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, with preparations to reopen the country by June in a step-by-step long-term approach.

Stage one

Social distancing measures and the wearing of masks will continue.

As part of the normalization process, the sale of masks will be allowed – a standard price will be set.

The president stressed that the curfews and limitations have greatly helped to combat the epidemic and added that much of the country would face another curfew this coming weekend (9/10 May).

Entry-exit restrictions will first be lifted from seven cities, namely Antalya, Aydin, Erzurum, Hatay, Malatya, Mersin, and Mugla.

Over 65’s will be allowed out on Sunday 10 May between the hours of 11am -3pm. Outings are restricted to “within walking distance” of home.

Under 20’s will be allowed out in phases:

0-14 years will be allowed out on Wednesday 13 May between the hours of 11am -3pm. Outings are restricted to “within walking distance” of home.

15-20 years will be allowed out on Friday 15 May between the hours of 11am -3pm. Outings are restricted to “within walking distance” of home.

Businesses such as barbershops, hairdressers, beauty salons will be operational from May 11, provided that the precautions are followed.

Pandemic hospitals will be decreased from 1 June and revert to normal operation.

Universities will be able to resume their academic calendar on June 15

Higher Education Institutions Exam (YKS) will be held on 27-28 June

Military discharge procedures will begin on May 31

Summons operations will start again on June 5, and paid military operations will start again on June 20.

But, President Erdoğan warned that the government would impose much harsher measures if the normalization plan is not followed.

‘Nothing will be like the normal we knew’

President Erdoğan went on to say, “Of course we will gradually go back to normal life, but we should not forget the reality that, as in the world and our country as well, nothing will be like the normal we knew“.

“We do not know how long the epidemic will last, or when the cure for it or medications for it will be found,”

We continue drug and vaccine development studies in cooperation with the international community “

Erdogan said “a new type of normal” awaits the country and that some of the limitations will continue, though in relaxed form.

The president emphasized that there are still countries struggling with the virus so it is uncertain when international flights will resume.

President Erdoğan: “This pandemic has reminded us of the fact that our fate is common even though our languages and religions are different”

In a video message to the “Coronavirus Global Response – International Pledging Event” hosted by European Commission, President Erdoğan noted that the coronavirus pandemic had ceased to be a mere health crisis and turned into a unique global test with political, economic, and social dimensions.

This pandemic has reminded us of the fact that our fate is common, even though our languages and religions are different. With this point of view, Turkey has provided 57 countries with the assistance of medical supplies so far. We also continue to be a reliable partner in terms of the supply of critical medical supplies that are needed in this process, ranging from masks to ventilators. We also share our country’s experiences in the fight against the virus with our friends along with our means. The vaccine appears to be the most effective instrument to eradicate the virus. Besides our national initiatives, we also support the global efforts for diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development. Under the G-20 Statement we agreed on March 26, we pledged to provide financing for the rapid development of a vaccine. We have therefore considered it a duty to be a part of today’s ‘Coronavirus Global Response’ pledging event. It will pave the way for achieving our target without allowing room for tautologies and bureaucracy in our efforts. Covid-19 vaccine must be the shared property of the whole of mankind. In this regard, it is critical that global access to the vaccine to be produced is guaranteed and the principle of ‘leaving noone behind’ is implemented diligently. We will take all these matters into consideration when deciding on our financial contribution to vaccine development efforts. We will announce the amount that we will determine following the assessments by 23 May.”

The president offered his condolences for citizens who lost their lives as a result of the pandemic, and wished a speedy recovery to those currently under care.