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Turkish vaccinated tourism video provokes anger

Foreign tourists are exempt from Turkey's coronavirus lockdown, and hospitality workers were given priority in receiving the vaccine.
"enjoyed — i'm vaccinated" face mask

A recent Turkish government tourism video about post-pandemic travel angered people in the country. 

Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism published a video on social media Thursday in an attempt to entice foreign visitors to come to the picturesque Turkish Riviera. The video showed mostly maskless tourists and hospitality employees with face masks reading “enjoy — I’m vaccinated.” The video said tourists will encounter “sanitized resorts and vaccinated staff” as part of the ministry’s Safe Tourism initiative. 

Many people on Turkish social media reacted angrily to the video, with people saying it was demeaning to the Turkish people. Some took issue with the fact that Turks who have not been vaccinated presumably would not be allowed near the tourists, the Turkish media outlet Ahval reported. 

The images in the video contrasted with reality in Turkey, which is under a coronavirus-related lockdown at present. Several opposition parties also slammed the video and a hashtag calling for the tourism minister to resign trended on Twitter on Friday, according to The Associated Press. 

Foreign tourists are exempt from the lockdown in Turkey. 

The video is no longer available on the Tourism Ministry’s social media pages

Turkey prioritized vaccinating tourism workers against COVID-19 in March. The rest of the country is also making progress in receiving the vaccine. More than 12% of Turks have been fully vaccinated against the virus and nearly 5% have been partially vaccinated, according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last week that anyone tourists might interact with will be fully vaccinated by the end of May. Tourism revenue fell by 65% during the pandemic, Ahval reported. 

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