2 officials close to Turkish leader test positive for virus

October 31, 2020 GMT

ISTANBUL (AP) — Two top Turkish officials who work closely with Turkey’s president have tweeted that they tested positive for the coronavirus.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said Saturday that he had light COVID-19 symptoms and was nearing the end of treatment.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said he, his wife and daughter all tested positive after feeling unwell on Monday. They are being treated in a hospital, and “Thankfully we are a bit better,” he said.

Soylu was criticized in April for announcing Turkey’s first weekend-long coronavirus lockdown just two hours before it went into effect, leading to scenes of chaos at markets. The president did not accept his resignation.


Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Saturday reported 75 new deaths from COVID-19 and 2,213 new confirmed cases. The country’s death toll in the pandemic now stands at 10,252.