Policy responses for Turkey - HSRM


Policy responses for Turkey

6. Measures in other sectors

6.1 Measures in other sectors

Many MEASURES IN OTHER SECTORS beyond the immediate scope of the health system are being taken to prevent further spread of the virus. This section contains information on many of these areas, including border and travel restrictions and economic and fiscal measures, among others.


From March 14, Sarp land border between Georgia and Turkey was closed to passenger traffic.

From 18 March Ipsala, Uzunkopru, Pazarkule and Kapikule, Aziziye land borders between Greece and Turkey and between Bulgaria and Turkey were closed.

On March, 24 the Kapıköy Border Gate between Turkey and Iran was temporarily closed to the entry and exit of passengers.

Mobility (transport)

On 14 March 2020, Turkey banned flights to 14 countries as part of measures to stem the coronavirus outbreak (China, South Korea, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands) and flights from Azerbaijan and Georgia were suspended until 17.04.20.
Citizens that were abroad for tourism or studies were allowed to return home with a 14-day quarantine requirement. Since March 16, about 50 countries were gradually added for flight cancellation. Turkish Airlines grounded all its international flights as of 27 March 2020, except those to Hong Kong, Moscow, Ethiopia, New York and Washington D.C. And on 22 March flight from and to almost 100 countries were suspended. On 27 March 2020, it was announced that all international flights were suspended for an indefinite period (https://www.seyahatsagligi.gov.tr/ It is official page of MoH). Final extension of the suspension of the international flights were extended until 28 May. It is planned to gradually increase flights to various destination after completion of the suspension period.

On 04 April 2020, domestic flights were suspended until 21 May 2020.

On 10 April 2020, Ministry of Interior issued a circular and declared a two-day lockdown (11-12 April 2020) in 30 metropolitan provinces (Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Balıkesir, Bursa, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Erzurum, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Hatay, İstanbul, İzmir, Kahramanmaraş, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Muğla, Ordu, Sakarya, Samsun, Şanlıurfa, Tekirdağ, Trabzon, Van) and Zonguldak. Those not complying with the lockdown were subject to fines. Another two-day lockdown also was applied on 18-19 April 2020.


Turkey banned flights from the UK and other countries due to concerns over the fast-moving, new COVID-19 strain late on 20 December. A temporary suspension on flights from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, and South Africa to Turkey was announced by the MoH. 


On 31 March 2020, the Central Bank of Turkey (CBRT) introduced new economic measures aimed to back monetary transmission mechanisms, banks' flexibility in liquidity management, uninterrupted credit flows to the corporate sector, and firms exporting goods and services. On 19 April 2020, Minister of Treasury and Finance declared that TL 10.8 billion had been allocated to tradesmen, while TL 59.6 billion has been handed to industrialists. A total of 501,450 firms have applied for the tradesmen support package, Albayrak said, while the number of those who have received loans has reached 335,721.
On 12 April 2020, Agriculture and Urbanization Ministries jointly developed a project to allocate idle agricultural lands under public domain for farmers to grow crops such as cereals and oil seeds, vital for food supply security - as part of measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

On 30 March 2020, a national solidarity campaign, "We are self-sufficient, Turkey,” was launched by the President, to help citizens financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic. For example, with salary supports to workers on unpaid leave, cash aids for a total of 4.4 million low-income families, and 2.3 million more families hit financially by the virus would benefit from this support.
On 15 April 2020, the government had distributed over 12 billion Turkish Liras ($1,75 billion) to 2.1 million low-income households. Nearly TL 36,3 billion ($5 billion) were allocated to about 39,651 firms that applied for a special financing package to protect employment and support businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry of National Education developed Digital platforms (TV or internet) to provide home education for all primary, middle and high school students. Most of the universities established their own remote education platforms for their students. 

On 7 April 2020, Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services launched a program designed to protect the homeless with accommodation.

Regarding international collaboration, Turkey has donated PPEs and other materials to other countries, as well as information exchanges with neighbouring countries.

Social impacts
On 8 April 2020, Turkey formed a second Social Sciences Board, to tackle the social impacts of the measures taken in the fight against the coronavirus. The new board includes experts in the field of psychology of religion, sociology of religion, statistics, sociology and psychology.


In order to minimize the effects of COVID-19 on the labor market and support employment, the implementation period of short-term employment allowance, social security institution (SSI) premium and tax incentives was extended from 26 March to 31 Dec 2020. 

18.12.2020: Turkey to give allowances to families of healthcare workers who died during the pandemic

The MoH will pay monthly pensions to the families of healthcare workers who died during the COVID-19 pandemic, considered to have passed away on active duty. It was noted that employees in all health institutions, including universities and private facilities, are eligible.