Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday cancelled a weekend curfew introduced to halt the spread of coronavirus, pointing to concerns over the economy.
Turkey has been locked down on weekends and public holidays since April, and the interior ministry said in the early hours of Friday that 15 cities would again be shuttered this weekend.
However, hours later Erdogan announced on Twitter that he had cancelled the curfew after “feedback from our citizens” suggested it would have a negative economic impact.
Cafes, restaurants and other public spaces reopened this week, sparking hopes that the curfew would be lifted.
“We were not willing to see our citizens suffer just as they began to return to their usual daily life following a two-and-a-half-month break,” the president said.
But he urged citizens to use masks, practise social distancing and ensure they were following the rules of hygiene.
Turkey has recorded more than 167,000 cases of COVID-19 and 4,630, but the number of daily fatalities has fallen to below 50 in the past couple of weeks.