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Gov’t bans free delivery of bread by municipalities during weekend curfew

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The Mersin Municipality, run by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has announced that it will not be able to deliver free bread to residents of the city during a weekend curfew due to a ban imposed by the Interior Ministry, according to Turkish media reports.

The government began to impose a weekend curfew in 31 major Turkish cities beginning from last weekend in a bid to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, which has so far claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 people in the country.

Last weekend, the Mersin Municipality delivered free bread to residents so they can stay home and don’t have to go out to buy it.

However, the municipality’s action has drawn the ire of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, prompting the Interior Ministry to ban municipalities from delivering free bread.

Following this, the municipality announced that a loaf of bread would be sold during the curfew for 50 kuruş instead of its normal price of 75 kuruş at bread kiosks run by the municipality.

In a similar development, Turkey’s interior ministry also has launched investigations into İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş, both from the CHP, due to coronavirus relief campaigns they had organized, according to a statement İmamoğlu made this week to a Turkish newspaper.

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