The Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s Hatay youth branch held its sixth ordinary congress indoors on Feb. 11, in a complete disregard of COVID-19 restrictions.
A video footage from the congress showed the party members singing, dancing, carrying each other on their shoulders, accompanied by the powerful voices of zurna (shrill pipe) and trump.
The party members were seen not wearing masks and completely flocking social distancing measures.
AKP deputies, the provincial chair, mayors and other party members were seen sitting next to each other with no distance apart.
After the video went viral on social media, the AKP once again drew severe criticism for its hypocrisy of holding mass provincial congresses, while several enterprises are struggling under COVID-19 regulations.
One of the people who is being carried on the shoulders of party members is Yusuf Özyurt, the head of the AKP youth branch for Hatay's Defne district. Özyurt had been infected with the COVID-19 disease in November.
AKP's crowded gatherings and congresses in complete disregard of COVID-19 measures have recently received widespread criticism in the public as several restrictions are currently in place for restaurants, cafes, unions and associations.
Critics say that the AKP is using the pandemic as an excuse to ban demonstrations and protests, but flocking the measures when it comes to serving its own agenda.