14.6 Overall Score (down 22 since Aug 1st.)


  • 9.3 Public Health
  • 0.5 Financial
  • 40 Fact-Based
  • 9.3 Public Health
  • 0.5 Financial
  • 40 Fact-Based

Turkey has very weak policy, driven by little emergency spending, stimulus, or debt relief, and loosening restrictions. It also has limited press freedom and has conducted minimal testing.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Turkey has a universal healthcare system but few doctors available, limiting healthcare access; limited wealth and low numbers of hospital beds left it poorly prepared for the pandemic, bringing its score down to the median.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 30.2%
  • GDP/capita $29,327
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 41.9
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 9
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 76.2
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 19

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)

Public Health Directives

Turkey's score dipped in this category as it cut back its restrictions on traveling amid poor testing policy and no emergency healthcare spending.

  • Stay at home order 2
  • Public gathering restrictions 3
  • School closings 2
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $0.00
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 418.3
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Turkey’s financial response is extremely weak, having slashed its financial support in all subcategories.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 1%
  • Income support 0
  • Debt forebearance 0

Fact-Based Communication

Turkey does not perform well in this category, because while it has not engaged in misinformation, the country’s press freedom is as limited as that of any country in the Index in response to COVID-19.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 3

COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15

Turkey performs near the median in this category, driven by a significant improvement in its case rate since January.

  • Total deaths 14,466
  • Death rate per 100K 171.5
  • Total cases 2,894,893
  • Cases per 100K 65
  • Percent of positive tests 10
  • Change in positivity rates +1.7
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown Level 3 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 May 11 Some retail shops reopen 13.21
2 Jun 01 Travel restrictions among 15 major cities are lifted; restaurants, sporting facilities, and government institutions reopen; domestic flights resume 9.81
3 Jun 10 Curfews on those between ages 18 and 65 ease; opening times for restaurants and similar businesses are extended 10.93
4 Jun 12 Reopen all land borders, exept with Iran 14.17
5 Jun 15 Mandate facemasks, implement limited weekend curfews 18.88
6 Aug 26 Allow flexible working options 15.57
7 Sep 04 Extend national ban on layoffs for 2 more months 19.11
8 Sep 08 Mandate facemasks in all public areas 20.88
9 Sep 21 Preschool and 1st year students return to in-person school 20.67
10 Nov 20 Implement weekend nighttime curfews, close malls, markets, restaurants, and hairdressers at 10 pm, restaurants and cafes close except delivery, schools online for rest of 2020 60.51
11 Dec 01 Weekday curfew from 9 pm to 5 am, total weekend curfew, people over age 65 no longer allowed in public transportation, cap of 30 people at funerals and weddings 357.01
12 Dec 21 Suspend all flights to/from UK, Denmark, Netherlands, and South Africa 226.50
13 Dec 31 Imposed a four-day curfew through January 4th 170.50
14 Mar 02 Lifted weekend lockdowns in low- and medium-risk cities, limited lockdowns to Sundays in higher risk cities, reopened restaurants and schools 140.35

Differentiating Factors

  • Turkey records over 41,000 cases of COVID-19 variants: In early March, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca reported over 41,000 cases of the British B.1.1.7 variant, as well as several cases of the South African, Brazilian, and New York variants. Read More
  • Cases rise with warmer weather: Relaxation of restrictions introduced in winter has led to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Turkey, with daily cases reaching a two-month high of nearly 14,000 recorded cases on March 9th. Read More
  • Three-quarters of population to be inoculated by summer: The Turkish government announced plans to vaccinate 65 million people out of the population of 83 million by June 2021. The country has bought 50 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Chinese company Sinovac. Read More
  • Scientists face criminal investigations: The governor of the Bursa province filed a complaint against scientists and physicians for sharing research that the numbers of cases and deaths from COVID-19 are higher than what the government initially claimed. The government has accused the scientists of "misleading the public" and "causing panic." Read More
  • Government accused of hiding true COVID-19 figures: The Turkish Medical Association has accused the government of hiding the true number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and reports that hospitals are running out of beds to treat patients. Doctors are reportedly being forced to choose which patients receive intensive care. Read More
  • Doctor shortages due to blacklists impacting response: Turkey has a universal healthcare system, but a very low number of doctors per capita, which has limited its ability to treat coronavirus patients and proactively contain the virus. The low number of doctors is due in large part to a mass blacklisting of healthcare professionals and civil servants in 2016, which included the country's top coronavirus expert. Read More
Compared with Other NATO Members
  • 71.7
    Belgium 809,861
    Per 1M

    Belgium has a relative strong score, with its generous income support and strong testing and contact tracing countered by limited public health directives.

  • 44.1
    Norway 81,305
    Per 1M

    Norway scores just below the median, pulled down by its weak public health and financial response scores, despite a strong reliance on facts and a free press.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million