Turkey news roundup – Coronavirus Edition – Mar. 13, 2020

With the world now facing the WHO-designated pandemic of COVID-19, we have prepared a special news roundup focusing on the latest developments of the novel coronavirus in Turkey and Turkey’s response.


On March 13, Turkey announced its second confirmed case of COVID-19, three days after the first case announced case. According to Turkey’s Health Minister, the patient is closely related to the first patient. Turkey was the very last country among all eight of its neighbors, and the latest country to to confirm a case.

Turkey has taken many measures since January to prevent and slow the spread of the virus including cancelling flights to China on February 5th and closing its border with Iran and Iraq on February 24 and March 1st, respectively. Turkey currently restricts all passengers who have been in China, Iran, Iraq, Italy and South Korea in the past 14 days.

On March 12, Turkey announced a series of new measures and precautions to prevent the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Primary, middle and secondary schools will be on holiday in Turkey next week with remote instruction, via computer and television, resuming the following two weeks. Government travel abroad has been restricted to require special authorization. Meanwhile, sporting competitions will take place without spectators while cultural gatherings, events and conferences have been cancelled or postponed until the end of April.

The Atlantic Council in Turkey promotes dialogue through research and programming addressing critical issues around energy, economics, migration, and security.

Image: Workers in protective suits disinfect Dolmabahce Palace due to coronavirus concerns in Istanbul, Turkey March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Umit Bektas