Turkey, Culture, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19: Turkish museums open for virtual visitors

Museums in Turkey, worldwide providing online tours guests amid coronavirus pandemic

Fatih Turkyilmaz   | 18.03.2020
COVID-19: Turkish museums open for virtual visitors


Turkish museums and cultural sites, now shut due to efforts to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, are opening their doors online to culture enthusiasts across the globe.

Taking steps to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey has temporarily closed all public libraries, schools and universities, halting events and public activities, postponing foreign visits and barring spectators from sports events.

The virtual tours are available not only of museums in Turkey but also for many others across the world, allowing online visitors to examine and learn about exhibits on their screens.

As a fun and educational activity for children staying inside amid a global push for social distancing, tours are available via computers or smartphones.

The curious can access a myriad of museums, palaces, mosques, churches, monasteries and fortresses listed under Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry on ktb.gov.tr.

Some of these sites include the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Hagia Sophia Museum, Ephesus Museum and Zeugma Mosaic Museum.

The Dolmabahce and Topkapi palaces are also among those museums available for virtual tours.

Meanwhile, Google Art & Culture also provides tours to over 500 museums and galleries worldwide, including the British Museum, Louvre and United States National Art Gallery, on artsandculture.google.com.

Late on Tuesday Turkey confirmed its first death from coronavirus -- an 89-year-old man. There are now nearly 100 confirmed cases in the country.

Worldwide, out of over 199,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 8,000 while more than 82,000 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.

The number of active cases is more than 108,000 -- 94% mild and 6% in critical condition, according to the website.

The World Health Organization has declared Europe the new epicenter of the virus which first emerged in Wuhan, China last December.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan.

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