The Turkish health minister admitted Wednesday that his office has not included asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the count released to the public since late July.
Rather, the government has been reporting only cases of people receiving care for their illness.
"We are talking about people with symptoms. We are giving this as the daily number of patients," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said at a news conference.
Koca admitted to the reporting change after challenges from a legislator named Murat Emir, who alleged that Turkey's true tally of new daily cases was 19 times higher than the number released by the government.
"Nobody believes it," Emir said recently of the health ministry's daily count. "It has no scientific value. No one takes it seriously...The government is battling against the figures instead of battling the outbreak."
On July 29, the terminology in the government's daily report changed from "case" to "patient." The Turkish Medical Association has been questioning the government's reports ever since.
"You failed to lead the process transparently. You hid the truth. You failed to prevent the spread," the association said.
On Wednesday, the Turkish government reported 65 coronavirus deaths and 1,391 new coronavirus patients.