Senior citizens got the green light to leave their homes between 0800 GMT and 1200 GMT on Sunday, a period in which other age groups were under lockdown in 24 provinces, including Ankara and Istanbul.

Women wearing protective face masks, sit apart following social distancing measures at the seaside on May 10, 2020, at Kabatas in Istanbul.
Women wearing protective face masks, sit apart following social distancing measures at the seaside on May 10, 2020, at Kabatas in Istanbul. (AFP)

Turkish people aged 65 and over on Sunday described their joy after the government allowed them to go outside for the first time in nearly two months in an easing of coronavirus restrictions.

While 24 provinces including Ankara and Istanbul are subject to a weekend lockdown, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week senior citizens could leave their homes between 0800 GMT and 1200 GMT on Sunday. 

They had not been permitted to go outside since March 21.

Women wearing protective face masks, sit at a required social distance along the seaside on May 10, 2020, at Kabatas in Istanbul.
Women wearing protective face masks, sit at a required social distance along the seaside on May 10, 2020, at Kabatas in Istanbul. (AFP)

"The expected day has arrived. The city will again meet you...do not forget to put on a mask on this beautiful day..." Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted, wishing them a good time:

While some went to parks for a jog, others walked around the streets, shopped, or met their friends and relatives.

Elderly people wearing protective face masks look at the Bosphorus on May 10, 2020, at Besiktas, Istanbul.
Elderly people wearing protective face masks look at the Bosphorus on May 10, 2020, at Besiktas, Istanbul. (AFP)

"Finally it is like we are on holiday as of 11 o'clock (0800 GMT) today. We are very happy," Istanbul resident Umit Avci, 81, said.

"It's the first time I've come outside since March and I'm so happy, I'm filled with joy," Ankara resident Ayse said.

Elderly people wearing protective face masks walk towards the seaside on May 10, 2020, at Besiktas, Istanbul.
Elderly people wearing protective face masks walk towards the seaside on May 10, 2020, at Besiktas, Istanbul. (AFP)

"I have not been out for about two months. Today I will get around, I will shop if I can," Arif Erkan, 77, from the central Nigde province, said.

Nazmiye Kilic, 78, who resides in the northwestern Kirklareli province, met her 80-year-old elder sister, Yurdanur Yastin, at a neighbourhood park.

Elderly people wearing protective face masks, stroll along the seaside near the Buyuk Mecidiye mosque, also known as ortakoy mosque on May 10, 2020, at Ortakoy in Istanbul.
Elderly people wearing protective face masks, stroll along the seaside near the Buyuk Mecidiye mosque, also known as ortakoy mosque on May 10, 2020, at Ortakoy in Istanbul. (AFP)

The measure restricting senior citizens' movement was one of many taken by the Turkish government in an effort to stop the contagion, including shutting schools.

Sunday's decision was the first to ease restrictions, with barbershops, hairdressers and shopping centres set to reopen on Monday as the daily death toll remains under 100.

Turkey has so far recorded 138,675 coronavirus infections and 3,786 deaths, according to official figures from Saturday.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies