Turkey welcomed 2021 under strict restrictions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, with security forces cracking down on violators on New Year’s Eve.
The curbs included an 80-hour nationwide lockdown, which began on 9 p.m. on Dec. 31, and a ban on large gatherings for the New Year celebrations at hotels and other accommodation facilities.
Despite the ban, nearly 30 people gathered in a villa in Istanbul’s Silivri district for the celebration. Security forces fined the violators a total of 91,000 Turkish Liras (around $12,000).
Also, in Istanbul, authorities fined 14 people, including 5 crew members, 3,150 liras each on a boat in the Bosphorus both for violating the curfew and holding a New Year’s party.
In the northwestern province of Bursa, 11 people, who organized a New Year’s party and broadcast it live on social media outlets, were handed 35,000 liras of fine.
More than 16,000 police units comprising of nearly 120,000 personnel were deployed across Turkey on New Year’s Eve as part of security measures.
Under the restriction, famous tourist destinations including Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue and Sultanahmet Square as well as the July 15 Kızılay National Will Square in the capital Ankara and Gündoğan Square in the western province of İzmir, will be closed until 10 a.m. Jan. 1. The ban also covers foreign tourists.