Millions of Turkish people are staying home in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus, similar to many other countries across the globe, but some of them are turning crisis into opportunity by spending more time with their families and nurturing a more intimate relationship.
In line with the suggestions of state officials, millions are staying in their homes unless they need to buy essential goods.
While some complain about being stuck at home, 36-year-old Ayhan Seven is happy to be able to spend more time with his family. He says this was something he had neglected until now due to the daily rush.
"We are all preoccupied with our jobs and daily life and cannot spare enough time for our beloved ones, but this is not the case nowadays due to the self-quarantine we impose on our lives," said Seven.
His job was demanding as he usually worked six days a week as a clerk, and always found himself exhausted by the end of the day. He said he could not be an ideal father as he could only spare less than an hour for his child on a normal workday.
"The number of activities, whether it be watching cartoons together or playing some Lego, we have enjoyed in the past week was probably more than what I could offer to my child in three or four months," he said, joking that his 4-year-old daughter is a "big fan" of the coronavirus lockdown.
While the lockdown offers a variety of opportunities for him to improve his relations with his daughter, convincing his little girl to stay at home instead of going to a playground has proved to be a real challenge for the father.
"She always wants to go outside and enjoy her day at a playground. The concept of reason does not really work with children because they are so ego-centric. That's why I had to buy extra ice cream for my kid, which might be regarded as bribery that brings us on the same page to convince her to stay indoors," he said.
Although he had initially thought a full lockdown at home with his wife could trigger some problems, their relationship also improved amid the outbreak as the couple can now put aside their daily responsibilities outside the home and focus on each other, according to Seven.
Ayşe Dalaman, 58, is another Turkish citizen who sees the glass half-full during the coronavirus lockdown as her 21-year-old son finally returned home from university and is studying through a distance learning program as educational institutions across the country shut down.
"Since entering university three years ago, my son has spent a total of three months by my side, and he was not at home even on summer breaks," she said, lamenting that her son almost forgot about the family after departing from the family home.
"Now, he is left with no other option than staying with his family. This is the only positive thing this virus has brought so far," said Dalaman.
She added that she views this isolation process as a final period in which she can enjoy time with her son, who "will begin to work upon his graduation, become a man with responsibilities and will no longer be her little child anymore."
"Just like the good old days, we wake up as a family in the morning and enjoy our breakfast as a family," she said, adding: "I hope this virus does not do any more harm to the world and disappears quickly. Meanwhile, we will make the most of this ‘stay-at-home' policy by embracing our loved ones."
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