Turkish politicians jumped on the bandwagon and exchanged holiday greetings through videoconference as the country celebrates Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fitr, under a four-day nationwide curfew to control the COVID-19 outbreak.
A delegation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) consisting of Deputy Chairwoman Jülide Sarıeroğlu, Women’s Branch executive member Ayşegül Eren Özdemir and youth branch executive Osman Ağzıkara met at the party's headquarter in Ankara and called the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
CHP Deputy Chairman Bülent Kuşoğlu, Ankara Youth Branch Chair Tolga Turut and Çankaya Youth Branch Chair Yaprak Çolak responded to the AK Party officials’ call, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported Monday.
In the teleconference, Sarıeroğlu said they hope the world will never have to go through such an extraordinary situation again, as she added that Turkish political parties have set an example in embracing the tradition of exchanging holiday greetings despite the lockdown.
However, she added that since she is unable to offer Eid desserts this year, she owes the CHP delegation a tray of special Adana delights next year.
The AK Party delegation then called the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and spoke with Deputy Secretary-General Kadir Şekerci, Deputy Chair Mevlüt Karakaya and executive member Merve Menekşe. The two parties exchanged warm holiday greetings as Sarıeroğlu said she has spoken with MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli. She also told the MHP delegation that they hope to welcome the MHP officials in AK Party headquarters on Qurban Bayram, also known as Eid al-Adha.
Ramadan Bayram is the first Muslim religious holiday to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic bearing down on the world. A joyous occasion marking the end of the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan Bayram became a somewhat muted event spent at home for millions.
Restrictions in place to prevent the coronavirus from spreading meant an end to centuries-old traditions for the faithful. Instead of visiting parents, children, relatives and friends, Muslims in Turkey – and around the world – opted to use technology to exchange warm wishes.
Political parties, politicians and state institutions continue to take precautions as the number of coronavirus cases in the country continues to decline.
Politicians opt for teleconference meetings rather than face-to-face meetings and avoid handshakes, keeping a personal distance of at least 1 meter (3.3 feet), as per the advice of health experts.
Currently, there are a total of 156,827 confirmed cases in the country with 118,694 of them having recovered, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.
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