38.1 Overall Score (up 1.5 since Aug 1st.)


  • 49.7 Public Health
  • 21.2 Financial
  • 40 Fact-Based
  • 49.7 Public Health
  • 21.2 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 Oct 1.)

Public Health Directives

Turkey has a median health policy score, driven down by poor testing policy, and no emergency healthcare spending.

  • Stay at home order 1
  • Public gathering restrictions 3
  • School closings 2
  • Public event cancellations 0
  • Testing policy 0
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $0.00
  • Travel restrictions 1
  • Tests/1,000 people 121.7
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Turkey’s financial response is relatively weak due to its very small stimulus package.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 3.8%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 2

Fact-Based Communication

Turkey has not performed 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 Oct 1

Turkey has a strong performance in this category, with a low death rate and very low positivity score, though its press limitations raise concerns about the accuracy of these numbers.

  • Total deaths 8,195
  • Death rate per 100K 97.2
  • Total cases 318,663
  • Cases per 100K 3,778
  • Percent of positive tests 1.2
  • Change in positivity rates -0.7
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 21.36
2 Jun 01 Travel restrictions among 15 major cities are lifted; restaurants, sporting facilities, and government institutions reopen; domestic flights resume 12.05
3 Jun 10 Curfews on those between ages 18 and 65 ease; opening times for restaurants and similar businesses are extended 11.11
4 Jun 12 Reopen all land borders, exept with Iiran 11.20
5 Jun 15 Mandate face masks, implement limited weekend curfews 13.73
6 Aug 26 Allow flexible working options 15.90
7 Sep 04 Extend national ban on layoffs for 2 more months 18.54
8 Sep 08 Mandate facemasks in all public areas 19.27
9 Sep 21 Preschool and 1st year students return to in-person school 19.83

Differentiating Factors

  • 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 govenrment 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
  • Erdogan mandates shorter weddings: New restrictions decreed by the government to curb community spread of the virus include mandating alternating shifts in offices, and limiting wedding ceremonies to just one hour, with reduced attendance. 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
  • Relief package supporting 5 million low-income people: In March, the government launched an Economic Stability Shield relief package which is reported to have supported 5 million low income families. Read More
Compared with Other NATO Members
  • 47.4
    Belgium 120,965
    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.

  • 64.3
    Norway 13,914
    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