The Coronavirus Meets Authoritarianism in Turkey

In a public address on Monday night, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, stated, “Turkey is a country where production must continue and the cogs must keep turning under every circumstance and every condition.” Turkey, where more than two hundred people have died from the new coronavirus, has one of the world’s fastest-growing outbreaks, but Erdoğan has resisted urgent action, calling only for a “voluntary quarantine” for most of the country. Opposition politicians have called for harsher measures against the coronavirus, including the types of lockdowns that have gone into effect around the world, but they have been increasingly besieged and marginalized in recent years, as Erdoğan has extended his power and thrown his 

rivals in prison. Last week, Turkey arrested hundreds of people for “provocative” posts about the outbreak on social media. Medical professionals who have urged harsher measures have issued apologies after being arrested.