Tourism video makes Turks feel slighted

A video released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, intended to promote health secure vacations in the country has sparked fury among Turkish people who say it places health and welfare of tourists above locals.

The promotional video shows tourism personnel wearing yellow face masks printed with “Enjoy – I am vaccinated,” while tourists are seen not covering their faces.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry on May 13 shared a video from its “GoTurkiye” social media account, urging tourists to come to Turkey and saying that they can spend a “safe holiday” in the country.

“This summer we have all of our staff vaccinated. Sanitized resorts and vaccinated staff. We call it a double safety for tourism,” the video says.

Across Turkey, thousands of Twitter users slammed the video, saying they felt belittled. A majority of Turkish citizens have not yet been vaccinated due to a shortage of supplies.

“The phrase of 'I have been vaccinated' is not enough. Neuter us,' renowned Turkish musician Burhan Şeşen wrote on Twitter.

"A free country gives priority not to prove to tourists that every one of its citizens is vaccinated, but instead to prove to its citizens that every tourist is vaccinated," tweeted Turkish entrepreneur Can Gürses. 

Only about 13 percent of Turks resident in the country have been vaccinated so far.

With most Turks still not vaccinated, and also stuck in lockdown, offering special conditions for tourists offended many Turkish viewers.

The video also drew severe condemnation from Turkish opposition politicians, who called on Culture and Tourism Minister Nuri Ersoy to resign.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that the country has come to a point where a ministry can insult its own people.

“You have managed to put a damper on the festival of Eid al-Fitr. We have finally a ministry that insults its own people!” wrote Kılıçdaroğlu on Twitter.