New crisis, old autocrat TIME ONLINE

New crisis, old autocrat TIME ONLINE


“Soon there will be laughter again. We won’t lose a single one of us. We’ll see each other!” These sentences are on a banner at the entrance of Amelie’s Garden, a café in the city center of the Turkish capital Ankara. The café has three owners, 22 employees and hundreds of customers and is one of the most popular meeting places in the city.

Since the corona virus is also found in the Turkey , Amelie’s Garden was closed on March 16 until further notice. That was almost a week after the first official Corona case came to light. When the closure was announced, employees and customers cleared the tables and chairs in a corner, raised their glasses to toast to health. Then they broke apart without kissing and hugging, as usual. The fear was noticeable among the employees. Will Amelie’s Garden survive this crisis? Will you still have a job to go back to?

In a similar way to neighboring countries, the Covid 19 pandemic in Turkey means that the government should make the fight against the virus a political success. Democratic structures in Turkey have long been in danger. The country is also in a political and economic crisis and is involved in conflicts with its neighboring countries, such as Syria. This raises the question: will the Turkish government give up its authoritarian action if people’s trust in its political leadership is so important?

So far there are officially 2,433 corona infected people in Turkey, 59 people died from the effects of Covid-19 lung disease. Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has been with the outbreak his social media posts and daily press conferences have become the face of the government. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, usually ubiquitous, has only appeared twice in public.

The government’s measures to contain the pandemic initially seem to make sense. For example, it has put extensive restrictions on people staying at home to slow the spread of the virus. The government also pledged to advance diagnostic testing, ventilator manufacturing and vaccine research. All schools have been closed, pupils are to be taught online. Students were instructed to vacate their accommodations on the university campus – the rooms are now used for quarantine Corona patients.

The government is downplaying the scale

Officials also work from home. People over 65 years of age are not allowed to leave their homes. Even community prayers in the mosques were banned. Travel bans have been issued for many countries.

But the crisis in Turkey has only just begun – and it will change the country in the long term. Instead of naming these challenges honestly, the Turkish government wants to give the impression that it has everything under control – and tries to downplay the scale of the crisis. A recent poll illustrates how effectively the government controls public perception. So a majority believes that Corona virus is not an immediate threat to them or their family.

If you follow that scientific statistics
the course of the corona pandemic also arises for Turkey
gloomy scenarios: more than 50 million people could deal with the
Infect virus, several million people could be infected
Covid-19 lung disease, including nearly one million severe.
If you take the mortality rate at around three percent, you might
almost a hundred thousand Turks die.

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