Turkey and the coronavirus highlight black humour in tragedy - analyst

The coronavirus outbreak has led to a resurgence of conspiracy theories and some Turks hold on to bigoted ideas in the face of the pandemic, Burak Bekdil, a founder of the Ankara-based think tank Sigma, wrote for Algemeiner on Wednesday.

"Coronavirus in Turkey, like most things in that country, highlights the black humour in tragedy. As ever, Turkey is fun unless you have to live there," Bekdil said.

Pro-government media suggested it was no coincidence that Turkey's first coronavirus case was identified on the day a new opposition party was officially inaugurated by a renegade former heavyweight from the Islamist ruling party, the analyst said.

One Islamist columnist said the country's secular main opposition party was far more dangerous than the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, anti-Semitism has also resurfaced with some blaming the outbreak on Jews, Bekdil said.

“Though we do not have certain evidence, this virus serves Zionism’s goals of decreasing the number of people and preventing it from increasing, and important research expresses this. Zionism is a 5,000-year-old bacteria that has caused the suffering of people,” he quoted a statement by Yeniden Refah, a small Islamist part, as saying.

The analyst said some Turks had been swaying on the thin line between bravery and folly by not following anti-virus measures and hoping the god would save the pious from harm.

“The Islamic army will defeat the infidel virus,” Bekdil quoted one social media user as saying.