Turkish Tourism Ministry slammed for duplicitous promotional video on Istanbul

Turkish social media users on July 27 slammed the Tourism and Culture Ministry over a promotional video which created an unrealistic image of how residents in Istanbul live. Istanbulites expressed their wish to live in the city depicted in the video. 

Duvar English

The Turkish Tourism and Culture Ministry received criticism on July 27 after releasing a promotional video on Istanbul that highlighted aspects of life that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is known for consistently criticizing and hindering. 

The video showcased nightlife, entertainment venues and alcoholic beverages, all of which the AKP government has been openly attacking in recent years.

Artists, musicians and social media users spoke out in criticism of the video, noting the duplicity between the visual content produced by the AKP government and policies enforced by its offices.

"What is this, a parallel universe without the AKP?" wrote musician Gaye Su Akyol.

"Just when you get all dressed up and run to a night out, oops the music stops," wrote artist Artemis Günebakanlı in reference to the government's current ban on music broadcasts after midnight.

"Trying to attract tourists with the lifestyles that you put down...." one user wrote.

One user joked about the appearance of a large bottle of rakı, the staple Turkish alcoholic beverage, particularly the Efe Gold brand.

"Is that an Efe Gold or a 1.5-litre bottle of water :)" wrote a user named Cihan. 

The overarching consensus about the video was that it didn't represent the reality of living in Istanbul, with many residents saying they wish they could live in the city depicted in the video. 

Entertainment and music venues remained shuttered for months during the COVID-19 pandemic era, without employers receiving sufficient financial aid to cope with long months of unemployment. 

At one point, during the 17-day-long full lockdown in May, the sale of alcoholic beverages was temporarily stopped under the pretense of the pandemic.