Turkey’s mosques reopen, coronavirus regulations for elderly and youth remain

Fatih Municipality workers disinfect the Blue Mosque before its reopening. (AFP)
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Updated 28 May 2020

Turkey’s mosques reopen, coronavirus regulations for elderly and youth remain

  • People will only be allowed to perform midday, afternoon and Friday group prayers
  • Individual prayers can be performed at the other times too

DUBAI: Turkish authorities have sanitized 11 mosques ahead of their reopenings on Friday, English-language daily Hurriyet Daily News reported.
People will only be allowed to perform midday, afternoon and Friday group prayers for now, but individuals can pray at other times.
The Interior Ministry has also sent a circular to 81 provinces regarding the reopening of mosques, which have been closed since March 19.
Meanwhile, the health minister Fahrettin Koca said restrictions for people over 65 and under 20 years will take “a little more” to ease.
“My young friends, the curfew lifted tonight. Unfortunately, this does not include you 15-20-year-olds, adults over 65 or children under 14 for now. I ask you to be patient, to give us some more time,” he said on Twitter on May 26.
Intercity trains resumed operations on Thursday, running at half capacity and without price increases.
“Passengers showing COVID-19 symptoms during the trip will be taken to isolation compartments on the trains and handed over to health officials at the first appropriate station,” transport minister Adil Karaismailoglu said.
But an inter-city travel ban, in force since April 3, will remain for now and might be lifted as of June 3.


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.