12 Sept 2021
Protests Erupt in Turkey over New Vaccine and Test Rules
The Index Today
Over 200 Turks have took part in protests in Istanbul against new vaccination mandates and COVID measures introduced by the Government. A majority of the protestors were not wearing masks and were heard chanting slogans in defense of human rights. Similar protests have been witnessed across other countries where anti-vaccine sentiments are high.
“This pandemic is just going on with even more restrictions on our freedoms and there’s no end to it. Masks, vaccines PCR tests might all become mandatory. Were here to voice our discontent with this”, said Erderm Boz, a protestor at the rally.
The government of Turkey has implemented new measures which require individuals to provide proof of vaccination shots or a negative PCR test if they wish to use buses, trains or intercity planes. These requirements are also to be met for attending concerts, performances or events with large gatherings. Masks and social distancing is also required in public areas whereas employees of certain sectors such as education must perform covid tests twice a week.
The country is seeing an average of 23,000 new cases everyday which has led to stricter covid measures to be introduced. Approximately 64% of Turks have received vaccine shots according to reports.
Finance minister, Fahrettin Koca said, “Vaccines are the final solution. Rules are very necessary.”
The government approved rally was crowded with protestors who were not required to show any proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test. “Maltepe is everywhere, resistance is everywhere,” is the trending hashtag in Turkey, which reflects the growing apprehension for the new measures.