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Turkey: Elderly given one-time permission to go out

Thousands of citizens age 65 and above, restricted to their homes due to COVID-19, take breath of fresh air

Faruk Zorlu   | 10.05.2020
Turkey: Elderly given one-time permission to go out

ANKARA

Senior Turkish citizens aged 65 and above, who are restricted to their homes since March 21 as part of the country's fight against the coronavirus outbreak, were given a one-time permission to step out on Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of elderly citizens took a breath of fresh air for four hours -- between 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) and 3 p.m. (1200 GMT) -- across Turkey.

Wishing them a good time, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Twitter said: "The expected day has arrived. The city will again meet you...do not forget to put on a mask on this beautiful day..."

While some went to park for a jog, others walked around the streets, shopped, or met their friends and relatives.

"I have not been out for about two months. Today I will get around, I will shop if I can," Arif Erkan, 77, from the central Nigde province, told Anadolu Agency.

Nazmiye Kilic, 78, who resides in the northwestern Kirklareli province, meanwhile, met her 80-year-old elder sister, Yurdanur Yastin, at a neighborhood park.

Old or young, everyone wants the pandemic to end soon such that they could get their freedom back.

Abdullah Torkuz from Istanbul said he had been at home for almost two months, and it was "like a prison."

As part of Ankara's normalization plan amid a fall in virus-linked deaths and rise in recoveries, some businesses, including barber shops and hairdressers, would open from May 11.

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