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Turkish labor leaders criticize state COVID-19 response as cases surge

Turkish officials introduced tighter curfew measures to curb a national surge in COVID-19 rates, drawing criticism from labor rights leaders over exemptions for production workers.
Pedestrians, wearing face masks, walk in a street of Ankara on November 20, 2020. - Turkey has set a new record on November 20, 2020, confirming 5,103 new COVID-19 patients and 141 deaths, the highest numbers since the start of the pandemic in the country. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — In response to record high COVID-19 rates in recent weeks, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan introduced tighter national curfews among other measures Monday.

Effective Tuesday, the new restrictions ban citizens from leaving their homes between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weekdays and full curfews will be enforced on weekends. The measures come after partial curfews imposed last month failed to slow contagion rates, and extend curfew exemptions for workers in the agriculture, forestry, health care, logistics and production sectors.

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