Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca are under fire for holding superspreader events despite the number of COVID-19 cases being on the rise again.
Scores of people were seen entering a hall in the Aegean province of İzmir for an AKP congress with total disregard for social distancing or other pandemic measures.
"Dear Minister Koca, do you think that the precautions are followed in the congress of the party that you are a minister of?" singer and actor Fırat Tanış asked on Twitter on Feb. 23, while also sharing the video of the crowds.
Koca is accused of acting hypocritical due to his continuous warnings on maintaining social distancing and staying at home when his party continues to organize large gatherings.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan went as far as to boast about the crowds at the AKP congresses in the Black Sea provinces. A couple of days later, Koca revealed that the highest number of cases are seen in those provinces.
On Feb. 22, Koca said that there are significant increases in various provinces and that people need to abide by the rules more.
Haftalık 100.000 nüfusa karşılık gelen vaka sayısında bazı illerimizde belirgin artış var. Normalleşmeyi konuştuğumuz şu günlerde daha hızlı normal hayata dönebilmek için her birimiz tedbirlere daha çok uymalıyız.https://t.co/RVlhe7786O pic.twitter.com/KPgQ3g8c5N— Dr. Fahrettin Koca (@drfahrettinkoca) February 22, 2021
People responded to Koca's tweet by sharing pictures and videos taken in AKP congresses.
"You should abide by the precautions first," said social media users.