Istanbul disinfects mosques against COVID-19 ahead of reopening



Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul on Tuesday disinfected mosques to make them ready for reopening on Friday as part of the government’s normalization process amid a slowdown in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers conducted detailed sanitization works in the Sultanahmet Mosque, which is also a major tourist attraction spot on the historical peninsula of the city’s European part.

Constructed during the Ottoman era, the mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding its walls and it is among the most visited active mosques in the city.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that mosques across the country would reopen for worshipping from May 29 in line with conditions set by local and religious authorities.

Meanwhile, Istanbul municipal teams have drawn circles on the ground of the Caddebostan coastline, located along the Marmara Sea on the Asian part of the city, to apply the social distancing rule.

Before the pandemic hit the city, the coastline used to be filled with Istanbul residents, who enjoyed socializing and having picnics there on weekends.

People in the entire country were under full lockdown at home on Tuesday, the last day of the curfew, which was declared on Friday to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Turkish government recently launched a normalization process as the daily rise in COVID-19 cases continued to slow down.

Turkey reported 948 new COVID-19 cases and 28 more deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 158,762 and the death toll to 4,397.


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