June 5, 2020 / 9:12 AM / a month ago

Erdogan nixes weekend lockdown over public backlash, cases rise

ANKARA, June 5 (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he decided to cancel a weekend lockdown announced late on Thursday after a public backlash, but he warned of a rise in the number of daily coronavirus cases.

On Thursday, Turkey’s interior ministry announced the stay-at-home order in 15 cities to prevent the spread of the virus, continuing the country’s policy of weekend lockdowns.

In a series of tweets, Erdogan said Friday the government had to impose the weekend lockdown after daily new COVID-19 cases rose from around 700 to nearly 1,000.

“However, the reactions we received from our people pushed us to re-evaluate the decision” and the lockdown is now revoked, he said, urging citizens to follow social distancing and hygiene measures.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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