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Turkey’s Interior Minister Resigns Over Coronavirus Curfew Chaos, Erdogan Rejects Resignation

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

After cynically urging Syrian refugees toward coronavirus-hit Europe, Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced on Twitter on Sunday that he was resigning from his post over the chaotic implementation of a two-day curfew in major Turkish cities to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

The resignation followed Turkey's announcement, late on Friday, of a weekend lockdown but in the brief time before it went into effect many people rushed out to buy food and drink in the country’s commercial hub Istanbul, a city of 16 million people, and other cities.

“Although in a limited period of time, the incidents that occurred ahead of the implementation of the curfew was not befitting with the perfect management of the outbreak process,” Soylu said in his statement.

Soylu, who has held the post since August 2016, shortly after the failed staged coup against Erdogan, said the scenes that took place just following the declaration of the curfew on Friday night did not reflect a smooth implementation of policy. Soylu added that he had been proud to serve as interior minister and would remain loyal to Erdogan.

The lockdown decision was taken with good intention and aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus, he said. The lockdown ended at 2100 GMT on Sunday, prompting questions why it was started in the first place, as a 48 hour lock down achieves absolutely nothing.

However, Soylu's resignation was even shorter than Turkey's curfew as just hours after the interior minister's resignation announcement, President Erdogan rejected the resignation, sparking celebration among Turkey's nationalists.

If his resignation had been accepted by President Erdogan, Soylu would have been the second Turkish minister to leave his post since the coronavirus pandemic was declared. Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan was removed two weeks ago after the ministry drew criticism for holding a tender amid the outbreak to prepare to build a huge canal on the edge of Istanbul.

On Sunday, Turkey reported 97 more deaths related to the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 1,198. The country also has nearly 57,000 confirmed cases since the first patient was diagnosed a little more than a month ago.


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