- Title: In sickness and in health: Turkey reopens wedding halls
- Date: 2nd July 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) BRIDE, FILIZ PEKER (27), SAYING: "We are sad and happy at the same time because we would have wanted a happier wedding with all families but we are still happy to be together." (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) GROOM, SERDAL AMAN, SAYING: "We are feeling lucky in all this unluckiness, we were really lucky to get an appointment for the first day. We are feeling lucky and excited."
- Embargoed: 16th July 2020 16:05
- Keywords: Turkey coronavirus weddings
- Location: DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY
- City: DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Reuters ID: LVA002CL4B5G9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: They were not meant to be dancing but guests at this wedding in southeast Turkey defied rules and held hands dancing.
But as Turkey reopens after months of lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, couples are finding a new meaning to the endless marriage vow - "in sickness and in health, til death do us part."
The reopening of wedding halls in Turkey this week is one of the final steps as the country leaves coronavirus-related restrictions behind.
Theatres and internet cafes also opened from July 1 as Turkey seeks to return to a more normal life and revive the economy, despite an uptick in new COVID-19 cases last month.
"We are feeling lucky in all this unluckiness, we were really lucky to get an appointment for the first day," said Serdal Aman, 30, a groom who married on Wednesday in Diyarbakir, the southeast's main city.
At the dress rehearsal for a separate wedding, soon-to-be bride Merve Kacar, 24, said: "There is no dancing, no gold ceremony, without touching our families.
"We are not happy about it but it's more appropriate this way," she said. "We postponed our marriage by three months."
At the start of June, Turkey opened restaurants and cafes, and lifted weekend stay-home orders and intercity travel bans. A subsequent doubling of daily cases prompted President Tayyip Erdogan to warn the country had lost some ground in its battle with coronavirus.
Turkey has recorded more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases and 5,150 deaths, with new daily cases running around 1,300.
As Turks poured out into streets, parks, malls and vacation spots last month, Ankara made face masks compulsory in major cities. More measures could come even as officials have said there is no plan to slow momentum in the economy, which emerged in June from a near standstill since mid-March.
Some 1,150 wedding halls in Istanbul were cleaned and prepared for the reopening, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported. New rules mean guests' temperatures are taken and sanitisers are used upon arrival, tables are separated and everyone - including the bride and groom - must wear masks.
(Production: Umit Ozdal)
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