The Istanbul Governor's Office has approved the application of an anti-vaccine group to hold a rally in the Maltepe district on Sept. 11.
The governor's office has not even mandated the rally participants to present their negative PCR test results even though many of them will journey in buses to come to the rally area, Diken news outlets reported on Sept. 9.
The organizer of the event, the Anatolian Union Party, had filed its first application to the district Maltepe Governor's Office on Aug. 23 to receive a permit for the rally. But the district governor's office had rejected the application on the grounds that it would increase the risk of COVID-19 infection and negatively impact the vaccination efforts.
This prompted the group to apply to the Istanbul Governor's Office on Sept. 7, with the party chairman Bedri Yalçın calling for the authorities to greenlight the rally oraganized under the name of “The Initiative of Protecting the Constitution Comes Together.”
Istanbul Deputy Governor Mehmet Ali Özyiğit approved the group's application in just two days after receiving it.
In its announcement, the organizers have said that PCR tests will not be asked from rally participants, even if they come from other cities.
This announcement comes despite the Interior Ministry's circular which mandates people to show negative PCR test results for intercity travel via public transportation as part of measures against the coronavirus.
During the rally, a total of eight people will hold the stage to protest vaccination mandates.