Share repurchases have been widely used in global markets for years for various purposes such as to pay out cash, to stabilize stock prices, and so on. However, their use has recently been challenged due to the economic and financial uncertainty imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only governments have put bans or restrictions on the repurchasing transactions but also some major companies themselves have suspended their buyback programs to preserve cash. On the other hand, repurchase activity has manifested itself in Turkish capital markets somewhat unexpectedly under uncertain market conditions. This study is one of the first attempts to explore the impact of share repurchase transactions on stock returns in an emerging market severely hit by COVID-19. Our analyses reveal that market reaction to repurchase activity in the aftermath of the pandemic declaration of March 11, 2020 was significantly positive. Moreover, short-term stock performance of repurchasing firms was far greater than that of their non-repurchasing peers. These results have important policy implications in terms of corporate payout decisions which have recently been challenged by the new coronavirus.