Turkey

Turkey to ramp up virus measures if needed: Erdogan

Only final details of megaproject Canal Istanbul need to be smoothed out, says Turkish president

Sena Guler   | 27.11.2020
Turkey to ramp up virus measures if needed: Erdogan Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan answers media questions after performing Friday prayer at Hz. Ali Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on November 27, 2020. ( Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA 

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the country could take further measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus amid rising cases.

“We have to and will take measures in line with the steps taken by the Health Ministry,” Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

He stressed the importance of wearing masks, maintaining social distance and paying attention to hygiene.

"As long as these measures are not followed, the spread of the virus is inevitable especially in larger cities,” Erdogan said.

He added that Turkey’s efforts to develop the COVID-19 vaccine were ongoing, while the country is also in talks with Russia, China and Germany to import the vaccine.

As the upward trend in the number of patients continued in the country, Turkey announced last week a series of new measures, including a partial curfew that is effective on weekends from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m.

Cinemas will remain closed until the end of the year, while malls, markets, restaurants and hairdressers will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. throughout the week, with restaurants only providing delivery service.

Education will continue online until the end of the year, and all sports competitions will continue to be played without an audience.


Canal Istanbul

Touching on a megaproject, Erdogan said domestic and global demand is increasing for Canal Istanbul -- an artificial sea route that will be built parallel to the Bosphorus and will connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.

“The architectural aspect of the Canal Istanbul Project is ready. In addition, all technical aspects are ready and now, only the final details are left to be smoothed out,” he said.

“With the Canal Istanbul Project, Istanbul will have a very different outlook and power internationally,” Erdogan said.

The construction of Canal Istanbul, with a daily vessel passage capacity of 185, is expected to start in 2020 and be completed in 2025-2026.

The planned 45-kilometer (nearly 28-mile) canal will be built west of the city center on the European side of the Istanbul province.

The mega-project, which aims to prevent risks posed by vessels carrying dangerous shipments through the Bosphorus Strait, was approved by the country's Environment and Urbanization Ministry.

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