Erdogan under pressure as coronavirus cases spike in Turkey
Istanbul: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up measures to stem rapidly growing coronavirus cases in Turkey but his refusal to impose a full lockdown to keep the economy afloat is drawing criticism.
With gatherings banned, restrictions on intercity trips, and the obligation to wear masks almost anywhere, Erdogan has imposed a series of tough measures but thus far resisted calls for a complete confinement.
Parliament began on Tuesday debating a government-sponsored bill to release up to a third of detainees in the country's overcrowded prisons as a safety measure against the coronavirus outbreak.
With 34,109 cases and 725 deaths, according to official figures published on Tuesday, Turkey is the ninth country in the world most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What's alarming is the fast spread of the disease in Turkey, which reported its first official case on March 11. The number of cases is doubling in every few days: From 7,400 on March 28, it reached 15,000 on April 1 and exceeded 30,000 on Monday, according to official figures. - AFP