Dek: Increasing coronavirus infections and deaths means a major change in people’s daily lives, and for animals, a lack of food as local authorities step in.

Turkey has not been spared as tourism the world over slumps with the spread of coronavirus.

The Turkish government took unprecedented measures three weeks back in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The impact on Turkish society has been visible as people take heed of government warnings for social distancing. 

Mosques and malls have been closed down in a bid to contain the virus and Istanbul, one of the most populated cities in the world and the beating cultural and economic hub of Turkey, has become eerily quiet.

A view of Beyoglu's empty Istiklal Avenue at midnight after authorities urging people to stay home as part of coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions, on March 30, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey.
A view of Beyoglu's empty Istiklal Avenue at midnight after authorities urging people to stay home as part of coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions, on March 30, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. (AA)

Istiklal Avenue is one of the main shopping thoroughfares in Istanbul for local and in particular international shoppers. 

The street is known for never sleeping and even way past midnight, there are often street performers and restaurants open. 

With businesses now shuttered, the economic impact, like in many other countries, won't be fully known until the shops start re-opening - a prospect that could be weeks if not months away.

A view of Ortakoy's main square is seen as coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic precautions are taken in Istanbul, Turkey on March 28, 2020.
A view of Ortakoy's main square is seen as coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic precautions are taken in Istanbul, Turkey on March 28, 2020. (AA)

Similar to other tourist hot-spots in Istanbul, Ortakoy, usually packed with tourists waiting to take a photo with the Grand Imperial Mosque of Sultan Abdulmecid in the background has fallen silent. 

Easily one of the most popular destinations on the Bosphorus, local law enforcement patrol areas ensuring that business owners are abiding by the government decision to close restaurants and coffee shops.    

Surroundings of Ataturk Statue is seen nearly empty after authorities urging people to stay home as a part of coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions in Ankara, Turkey on March 30, 2020.
Surroundings of Ataturk Statue is seen nearly empty after authorities urging people to stay home as a part of coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions in Ankara, Turkey on March 30, 2020. (AA)

One of the main centres in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, often filled with people feeding pigeons is seen bare of most visitors or pedestrians stay away. 

The political centre of Turkey has been under lockdown for almost three weeks as the government focuses its efforts to halt the spread the virus.

Personnel wearing face masks and gloves make production of protective face masks against the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the instruction of Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu at the sewing workshops linked to Gendarmerie General Command of Turkey in Ankara on March 29, 2020. Daily output is aimed to produce a hundred thousand of protective face masks.
Personnel wearing face masks and gloves make production of protective face masks against the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the instruction of Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu at the sewing workshops linked to Gendarmerie General Command of Turkey in Ankara on March 29, 2020. Daily output is aimed to produce a hundred thousand of protective face masks. (AA)

The Turkish Health Ministry has learned the lessons from many other countries afflicted with the coronavirus who have run low on protective equipment. 

Last week Turkey announced export controls on locally made face masks to ensure that front line health workers have all items they need to protect themselves. 

The Ministry of Interior has even drafted the Gendarmerie, pictured above, in a bid to ramp production. 

The government has clamped down on unscrupulous vendors who have attempted to jack up prices in a bid to take advantage of higher demand.

Dogs are seen as members of an institution which protect animal rights, distribute food within the coronavirus (Covid-19) precautions in Ankara, Turkey on March 28, 2020.
Dogs are seen as members of an institution which protect animal rights, distribute food within the coronavirus (Covid-19) precautions in Ankara, Turkey on March 28, 2020. (AA)

Dogs and cats in the streets of major cities share the streets with ordinary people who also often feed and pet them. 

Street dogs, usually tagged and inoculated by municipalities, are cared for by people, however, with many people choosing to stay indoors or limiting their activity to essentials, animal charities are stepping in. 

Street dogs in Ankara, pictured above, have been brought to animal shelters where authorities are looking after them for the duration of the crises. 

Crews of Fatih Municipality's directorate of health services leave food for stray animals who have had trouble finding food after restaurants, cookshops and etc. closed up due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at Beyazit Square in Istanbul, Turkey on March 27, 2020.
Crews of Fatih Municipality's directorate of health services leave food for stray animals who have had trouble finding food after restaurants, cookshops and etc. closed up due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at Beyazit Square in Istanbul, Turkey on March 27, 2020. (AA)

Cats, however, are harder to round up. 

The city of Istanbul is known for its abundance of cats of every shape and colour. The city, even in normal times, can easily feel like it's theirs. 

Istanbulites are the caretakers for the city's cats, feeding, sheltering and taking them to vets when in need. 

Turkey's lockdown, however, has left many in need of food. Local authorities in Fatih, one of Istanbul's districts, have stepped in to feed cats and make sure that the four-legged felines are perfectly looked after.  

Source: TRTWorld and agencies