US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The Turkish city of Istanbul, with a population of 16 million, is rarely static, but this Saturday, its residents were forced to stay in their homes on the first day of isolation imposed to contain the Covid-19 epidemic.
Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue, one of the city’s most popular landmarks, were completely deserted, as witnessed by a journalist in France Press.
In the Aminounu neighborhood, in the heart of Istanbul’s historic center, policemen were patrolling to make sure the residents adhered to the measures.
Tranquility also prevailed over the Bosphorus, which is usually crowded with ferries traveling between the two banks of the city.
And this uncommon silence only breached motorbike motorcycles.
Municipal workers moved from door to door to distribute bread.
On Friday, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced a curfew on residents of 30 of the country’s largest city, including Ankara and Istanbul, until Sunday evening.
This 48-hour isolation aims to prevent residents from taking advantage of fine weather and going out for the weekend for walks, as happened during the past weeks despite the outbreak of the epidemic.
The pandemic has resulted in the deaths of a thousand and six people in Turkey so far, out of more than 47 thousand injuries.
In contrast to the silence that ravaged Istanbul on Saturday, panic prevailed among the Turks on Friday, with the announcement of isolation two hours before it came into effect.
Thousands of people rushed to the stores to supply bread, cheese and cigarettes.
A number of opponents and online activists criticized the isolation announcement shortly before it was imposed.
The opposition mayor of Istanbul, Akram Imamoglu, who has been calling for the imposition of complete isolation for weeks, confirmed that he had not been informed in advance of the intention to impose the measure.
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