Turkish opposition parties and affiliated groups are criticized for impeding government’s struggle with coronavirus pandemic. As of April 22, Turkey has 98.678 patients and 2.376 fatalities or 2.3% ratio for case/fatality. Numbers also indicate that Turkey has already seen the peak, thus less cases and deaths are expected in upcoming days. Particularly, fatality rate is one of the lowest in the world, which is praised by other countries as well.
However, the main opposition party CHP is allegedly unhappy with Ak Party-led government’s achievements, thereby applying smear campaigns against government’s efforts. According to pro-governmental sources, for example, Istanbul Municipality did not construct the road of one of the biggest hospitals that began to operate in April 20. Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu defended himself by arguing that they did not have enough budget to cover road costs. Ak Party representatives denied Imamoglu’s claim and noted that the road is only three kilometers long. Imamoglu is also accused of halting the construction of subway station next to the hospital.
In addition, CHP lawmakers made interviews with international media and blamed government for failing to fight Covid-19. On the other hand, a recent survey shows that people in the street, including the electorate of opposition parties, approve government’s success. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also declined claims while answering a question regarding to a New York Times article dated April 20, which claimed that the number of fatalities are hidden by Turkish government. Koca said the story was written just to attack Turkey. He also said less people died in the first four month of 2020 despite coronavirus pandemic.
Besides politicians, far-left Turkish Doctors Association (Türk Tabipler Birliği) releases daily statements arguing that government exposes health workers to death. According to Straturka’s investigation, only 3 medical doctors have died due to Covid-19, while Italy lost 143 of its doctors in the same period. Ali Ertugrul, a Turkish journalist, says it is all about putting Erdogan government into trouble to lessen public support. Ersin Yılmaz, an academician, says that CHP is aware that a success will boost popularity of Erdogan, so the party does everything to prevent it. Since the beginning of coronavirus pandemic, Erdogan’s popularity has risen from 41% to 56%.