Turkey was wrong to not impose a stone


Source: Dubai – Arabic.net

Not long ago, and in a letter addressed to Turkish citizens, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “Turkey is a country in which production must continue and the wheel of life must not cease to rotate under any circumstances.”

However, the result has been a difficult situation in the country, where more than 700 people have died and more than thirty thousand were infected by the epidemic, in one of the fastest growing outbreaks in the world. It has risen to ninth among the most affected countries, while Erdogan “continues to resist his advisers’ advice in taking measures to prevent the outbreak.”

In an interview with The New Yorker magazine with the well-known professor of biology at Boston College, Emre Altendes, regarding Turkey’s handling of the Corona epidemic, he said: “Let’s start with the numbers. The first case was revealed on March 11. This date was late compared to most countries. When the first death was recorded on March 17. Until March 31, 214 people died, and the number of confirmed cases reached 1353 (currently reaching more than 30,000 recorded infections), if we compare these numbers with the numbers of other countries after they have discovered a hundred cases, we will find that Turkey has the largest increase in the number of cases in the world at the moment, but the death rate may make us optimistic, as you know Moon, it is very high in Spain and Italy, but in Turkey, if these official figures are true – because some question it due to the lack of transparency – but if we say it is correct, the death rate is lower than in Italy or Spain.

When asked about the reason for the rapid spread of the virus in Turkey even though the first case was relatively late, Altendes replied: “I think there are two different ways to contain the epidemic in the world. And two models are successful. The first is the South Korean model, which has done mass testing, and was able to Twenty thousand tests a day, as of March 20, South Korea has carried out more than 350,000 tests, while the number of examinations in Turkey is only 92 thousand, and the population is eighty million. This is one of the reasons.

Another successful model is the Chinese Wuhan Model, which was applied in California, France and Boston as well, which involves stopping unimportant business. But Turkey did not stop it; they closed restaurants and schools, but working-class people still have to work every day. (More than 40 villages and small towns in Turkey are subject to quarantine, but as of last Thursday, major cities were not subject to quarantine, including Istanbul, which has the most cases of Covid-19 virus infection.) ”

He added: “Because the working class in Turkey goes to work every day, they pass the virus on to their parents and grandparents and people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic lung disease or kidney disease. In this way, the country will not be able to stop this transmission.”

One-man managed system

In addition, the expert considered that reality is just the tip of the iceberg, expected to be worse in the next two weeks.

On the reasons for Erdogan’s government not carrying out collective checks and measures to keep everyone in place, he saw that there are two reasons. The first is that the Turkish economy has priority in government accounts, and cannot afford the closure, while the other reason is due to the adoption of the “herd immunity” strategy, explaining that “The government has already told people over the age of 65 or who suffer from chronic diseases that they are at risk. But there could be a secret goal to implement the herd immunity strategy, because this system is run by one man now, and it is he who decides.”

He continued: “On February 24, the Turkish Minister of Health, Fakhruddin Kuja – a doctor – interviewed one of Turkey’s most famous journalists, Ahmed Hakan, and said that Wuhan and Italy had done a great job through the closure. He revealed that he had contacted the Iranian Minister of Health when a case was registered. In the city of Qom, Iran, and the latter told him that it was time to close, but then Iran admitted to him that they had not closed the city, and that is why the virus has spread. So he knows that closing the streets is one way to stop infection. Unfortunately, the decision is limited to a man One, somehow, could not persuade him to close the cities.

From Istanbul (Archives - France Press)
From Istanbul (Archives – France Press)

In addition, the Turkish expert said, “We have in Turkey today three major cities: the capital, Ankara, Izmir, and Istanbul, headed by mayors belonging to the opposition. A third of the Turkish population lives in it, but the system is different from what it is in the United States, for example, where a governor may California decides to close the entire state, so the situation in Turkey is very, very different.

As for the preparedness in the medical sectors in Turkey, he said: “First of all, when comparing Turkey with its neighbors from the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, where the number of doctors and nurses in Italy, for example, per 1000 people is more than two and a half times more than Turkey Second, many people lost their jobs in many sectors, including doctors and nurses, as well as many academics. Moreover, many academics signed a petition in 2016 demanding peace in the Kurdish question. Lost many professors in medical schools As a result, their jobs were It is the impact on the country’s response to the epidemic, but there are also structural problems. ”

One of the Corona casualties was buried in Istanbul (Archives - France Press)
One of the Corona casualties was buried in Istanbul (Archives – France Press)


When asked by the newspaper about reports of doctors being detained, they talked about the danger of the Corona virus in the past few weeks, which led them to retract these statements later, he said: “From the first day, the Turkish Medical Association, which includes 84% ​​of doctors in the country, asked to participate in But unfortunately, the Turkish government does not cooperate with them. They also demanded that there be transparency in this process, but there is no transparency. From day one, they were trying to get enough PPE in hospitals. ”

In addition, he talked about doctors backtracking on their statements, saying: “There was a doctor specializing in infectious diseases delivering an internal seminar in front of other doctors at Ankara University Hospital, where she said that not all cases were reported, and we have to be very careful and protect Medically, so someone registered the seminar. And later I apologized to everyone! ”

From Ankara (April 6, 2020 - AFP)
From Ankara (April 6, 2020 – AFP)

He continued: “The same thing was repeated with the president of a university in Izmir who said that the situation has become more dangerous than it is in Italy, but he was later forced to apologize. Since 2013, the repression has unfortunately represented even in specialized professions.

Refugees, Turkey and the epidemic

As for the issue of refugees and whether their numbers overburden the medical sector in the country, the medical expert explained that “it is proven that infectious diseases always affect the most vulnerable groups in society – that is, the poor, the working class, the refugees, and those in prison. Although Turkey It hosts nearly four million refugees, after it signed an agreement with the European Union several years ago, I have not seen anything about refugees in the past three weeks, even in the Turkish media. Of course, these groups will be severely affected by this epidemic. ”

From Taksim Square in Istanbul (Archives - Reuters)
From Taksim Square in Istanbul (Archives – Reuters)

Lack of transparency

In response to a question about what his friends say doctors in Turkey recently, he said: “I talked with many doctors. First, they were and still are complaining about equipment – that is, personal protective equipment – and a lack of transparency. For example they do checks today, come Results after four days, however, they want to get results on the same day. They are very concerned about the violence that they will receive from relatives of patients. Prior to the outbreak of the epidemic, the Turkish Medical Association was planning to organize a very large meeting in Ankara to protest against violence against medical practitioners. Currently, they are worried about increasing thousands Yat, which could lead to an escalation of violence. ”

Moreover, he stressed that the main concern of the Turkish Medical Association lies in transparency and how the Turkish government manages the anti-virus process.

From Ankara (April 6, 2020 - AFP)
From Ankara (April 6, 2020 – AFP)

A tsunami is coming … and a warning about prison conditions

He also repeated the warning about the government dealing with the epidemic, saying: “Unfortunately the government did not see the tsunami coming to us. There is a tsunami coming to our cities.”

In addition, he warned against the issue of the epidemic in prisons, saying: “We have nearly three hundred thousand people in prison. Many of them are over 60 years old, and many of them suffer from chronic diseases. In addition, Turkey is one of the countries that imprison Journalists, politicians, students, and attorneys. Therefore, prisons are currently very overcrowded, and there is a high risk that we will see infections, potentially killing many people. As we have seen in the news, the rate of infection in New York is three people per thousand people. Including in Rikers prison, as it reaches twenty-seven people with acne Z of every thousand people. It can cause the massive deaths in prison, so we have to look for the situation of these prisoners people also. We need reform. In Turkey, there are conversations about this, but they exclude all political prisoners. ”

From Ankara (April 6, 2020 - AFP)
From Ankara (April 6, 2020 – AFP)

He continued: “The government talks about reforming the prison system due to the epidemic, and the liberation of prisoners, meaning that some people who have stolen money or sold little drugs will be released soon, but this will not include journalists, members of parliament, the mayor, and lawyers who are in prison for political reasons.” According to the Turkish state, these are terrorists. ”

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