Deaths from Coronavirus and Depression

The first case of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in Turkey was seen in Istanbul and was shared with the public with the statement of Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on the night of March 10, 2020. The pandemic spread to the whole country in a short period of time. It was recorded that the first death due to the virus occurred on March 18, 2020.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic-related threat is still very serious in the country. The development of the vaccine is the most promising development in this process. Turkey first ordered the Chinese vaccine Sinovac, and the first vaccine was delivered to Minister of Health Koca on January 13, 2021. Unfortunately, the desired success could not be achieved in vaccination process. Although it has been more than a year since the pandemic was first seen in the country, the fight against the pandemic continues with a more unsuccessful picture compared to the previous months.

Concerning the financial support the Turkish government provided for the citizens, there are two different pictures. The first data came from BBC Turkish News Service. According to BBC, United States of America spent 25.4 per cent of the national income for Coronavirus support while Turkey spent only 1.9 per cent.

On the other hand, the state-run Anatolian News Agency presents a quite different picture from BBC. Anatolian Agency states that “Turkey outpaces G20 in liquidity support amid COVID-19” emphasizing that Turkey leaves behind countries including China, Brazil, and India, with liquidity support to GDP ratio of 9.4%.

Turkey’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic was represented as a “success story” by Turkey’s vice president Fuat Oktay on March 18, 2021. However, it can be said that after Justice and Development Party had held its 7th Ordinary Grand Congress in the capital city of Ankara on March 24 this story has changed direction. Erdoğan was criticized for praising the crowd at the Congress. After that, the number of Coronavirus cases has increased dramatically and the Health Ministry on March 24 reported the highest daily cases since December.

Murat G. (48) committed suicide a few days after saying on Twitter that for so many days, he has been closing the shop without even making the first sale.

Amidst the increasing Covid-19 cases, on May 2 the tweet “intihar” (‘suicide’) became one of the trending topics on Twitter in Turkey. When I had a look at the content of the tweets and made a brief Google search I realized that 2 people killed themselves on the same day due to the depression they fell into. Many people lost their incomes and the financial deadlock they got stuck after the outbreak of the pandemic led to both mental and physical problems and caused even deaths. A 50-year-old man Erdal Ş. committed suicide in his closed coffeehouse in İzmir yesterday. It was learned that Erdal Ş. the father of two children, was depressed because he could not pay his workplace rent and bank debts. Moreover, I read that Murat G., who used to make his living by selling kokoreç (grilled sheep’s intestines) in Mersin killed himself a few days after posting these words on social media: “For so many days, I have been closing the shop without even making the first sale”

Turkey had so far applied partial lockdown practices to curb infections and to keep the economy running. Nevertheless, on Thursday the country adopted the strictest pandemic restrictions so far, closing businesses and schools and limiting travel for nearly three weeks. During the period of strictest full lockdown, the citizens who do not have a regular income such as the small business owners including restaurant and cafe owners have suffered the most. After seeing the TT “suicide” on Twitter, I can’t help thinking that not only virus kills but also hunger kills too.

Dr.Begum Burak
Dr.Begum Burak
Dr. Begüm Burak is an independent researcher. In 2015, Ms. Burak got her PhD degree. During her occupation as a teaching assistant, she got engaged in short-term academic activities in Italy, United Kingdom, Bosnia and Spain. In 2018, she became one of the founding members of For her twitter visit: @begumburak1984