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55 pct of Turks unhappy with free face mask distribution: poll

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A total of 55 percent of participants in a poll conducted in Turkey by the Metropoll company said they have encountered problems with the face mask distribution launched by the government, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday.

People who reported such problems varied significantly by political party. While 41 percent of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voters said they had problems, 69.6 percent of supporters of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and 76.7 percent favoring the Kurdish-oriented Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said the same.

After the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey, the government promised free of charge face masks and banned their commercial sale.

The government has changed several times the distribution channel for the masks and started handing them out via pharmacies after failures with the national mail service and “e-devlet,” the national website designed for certain services to citizens.

In the poll Health Minister Fahrettin Koca was ranked first among public figures in terms of success in management of the health crisis, while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ranked fourth, surpassed by the scientific board set up to assist the health minister and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş.

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