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Turkey’s Kurds cancel Newroz festival on March 21 due to coronavirus fears

Women perform the folkloric dance Halay as they take part in the Kurdish celebration of Nowruz (aka Noruz or Newroz), the Persian calendar New Year, in Istanbul on March 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / YASIN AKGUL

Turkey’s Kurdish parties and organizations have decided to cancel a March 21 Newroz festival marking the start of spring due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.

The Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Thursday held an executive members meeting to discuss the cancelation of the event, which every year brings Kurds together in Diyarbakır province.

After the HDP’s suggestion to cancel the festivities, the Kurdistan Alliance Workgroup, a committee that organizes Newroz celebrations, announced the final decision.

First seen in China’s Wuhan province, the novel coronavirus has spread around the world in a couple of months, with more than 100 countries confirming cases and in excess of 120,000 people infected globally.

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