Turkey partially resumes inter-city train services as part of normalization

Turkish government on Thursday resumed high-speed train services between four provinces as part of its normalization plan after the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“We are taking another important step in the normalization process. The high-speed train will run 16 times a day, between Ankara and Istanbul, Ankara and Eskisehir, Ankara and Konya, and Konya and Istanbul,” Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu told reporters at a ceremony for the resumption of the service.

Although the trains will run at 50-percent capacity with a sparse seating arrangement, social distancing rules and isolation, ticket prices will remain the same, he said noting that wearing a mask at all stations and trains will be mandatory.

According to the normalization plan, citizens need to provide a special code to be obtained on an application developed by the Turkish health ministry, and permits for inter-city travels and train tickets are subject to the same practice.

Train services in Turkey were halted two months ago as part of precautions to stop the COVID-19 pandemic spread.

Turkey and China have supported each other in the fight against COVID-19. The leaders of the two countries held a phone conversation on April 8, pledging to cooperate on combating the pandemic and deepen the bilateral ties.

China has facilitated the procurement of medical supplies by Turkey. On April 10, Chinese doctors and medical experts held a video conference with Turkish counterparts to share China’s experiences in treating coronavirus patients, protecting medical workers, and controlling the spread of the virus.