ISTANBUL, April 8 (Xinhua) -- A fashion teacher in central Istanbul cut an interlining nonwoven fabric into a rectangular piece, folded it down about 1.5 cm from the middle and bent it downwards.
Nursel Garip Dogan was not sewing an outfit as she always did, but protective face masks for Istanbul's citizens, who have been facing a growing number of COVID-19 cases.
"Now, I am placing a piece of wire in the folded part. After the needling process, the mask is ready for sewing," Dogan told Xinhua at the Colpan Ilhan Fashion School in the Mecidiyekoy neighborhood.
The operation started last week after the Istanbul municipality asked teachers to contribute to the production of masks as part of the fight against the pandemic.
"The call was made to the municipality-sponsored training courses' teachers, who are aged between 20 to 65 with no chronic diseases," Dogan said.
So far, three training centers have been used for production purposes across Istanbul. They are producing over 10,000 items per day.
At the end of each day, the teachers put their final products in packages and transfer them to warehouses of the municipality for disinfection.
"And then, local workers will distribute them at the entrances of metro stations or at bus stops to the citizens for free," Dogan added.
On its social media accounts, the municipality also shared a video, in which the details of making masks are explained for those who want to produce them at home.
On Wednesday, Turkish officials also began distributing face masks and cologne, a traditional disinfectant, for people in the risky groups across the country.
The government recently banned the sale of masks in the market, announcing that upon receiving an application, post offices across the country would deliver masks to citizens.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said wearing face masks would be mandatory in crowded areas, including supermarkets and workplaces.
According to the latest figures by the Health Ministry, Turkey has recorded 34,109 cases of COVID-19, of whom 725 have died.