ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan got here underneath criticism Wednesday for holding his get together’s congress inside a packed sports activities advanced amid a brand new surge of COVID-19 instances.
Hundreds of ruling get together supporters crammed the stands of the ten,400-capacity advanced in Ankara — regardless of the Turkish authorities’s social distancing guidelines. Movies posted on social media purported to point out busloads of ruling get together supporters touring to the capital to attend the congress, many with out masks. Sporting masks in public areas is obligatory in Turkey.
Erdogan spoke for practically two hours on the occasion, presenting his imaginative and prescient for when the nation marks the centenary of the Turkish Republic in 2023, when the nation can be scheduled to carry presidential and parliamentary elections. He stated he minimize remarks brief so as to not expose congress individuals to the virus.
Murat Emir, a doctor and lawmaker from Turkey’s essential opposition get together, described the scenes from the get together congress as “shameful,” writing on Twitter that the occasion confirmed disregard for “the well being employees who work day and night time within the battle in opposition to the pandemic.”
Former Ankara mayor Melih Gokcek, a member of Erdogan’s Justice and Improvement Get together, maintained that delegates had been examined for the coronavirus earlier than attending the congress.
Erdogan has been criticized for holding equally crowded native get together congresses throughout the nation in previous weeks regardless of the pandemic. Throughout one such occasion, he boasted in regards to the dimension of the group.
Turkey reported near 30,000 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, weeks after the federal government eased restrictions in dozens of provinces underneath a so-called “managed normalization” program. The nation additionally reported 146 deaths prior to now 24 hours.
On March 1, the federal government divided Turkey’s provinces into 4 danger classes and allowed eating places and cafes to reopen in low, medium and high-risk areas. Weekend lockdowns had been additionally eased in these provinces, though nighttime curfews launched in late November stay in place throughout Turkey.
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