Ankara: A tourism promotion video by the Turkish government in which airline crew are seen in a yellow mask with a slogan that reads "Enjoy! I am vaccinated", has invited widespread wrath on social media, forcing the authority to call back it.
The opposition leaders responded that the act humiliated Turks, while the civilians slammed the government's tone-deafness as the country is grappling with a nationwide shutdown, loss of income and baffling rules, reports DPA news agency.
The video, created by official travel guide Go Turkiye, presented Turkey as a "safe haven" for unmasked foreign tourists.
"Sanitized resorts and vaccinated staff. We call it double safety for tourism. Our guests call it peace of mind." Said the English video.
Though the video was subsequently taken down, Turks are demanding the resignation of Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy and the hashtag #TurkumOzurDilerim (sorry, I'm Turkish) now trending on Twitter.
"In the pandemic, you only inflicted suffering and difficulties on our beloved people, and now you've done this without being ashamed. Shame on you," tweeted opposition Iyi Party leader, Meral Aksener.
"Finally, we have a ministry that humiliates its own people," said Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party.
Turkey began its vaccination campaign in January, primarily with China's Sinovac and subsequently Pfizer/BioNTech's shots.
According to the Health Ministry reports, more than 25 million doses of vaccines have been administered, with more than 10 million people receiving the mandated second jab in the country of 84 million.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has particularly hit the crucial tourism industry in the country with 70-per cent fewer visitors last year than in 2019.
Britain and France are among countries that have put Turkey on their "red list" for travel, meaning those returning must go into lengthy mandatory quarantines.
The country's strictest lockdown since the start of the pandemic is set to end on Monday, following which a period of "controlled normalization" is to be announced in the country with a plan to significantly relax measures from June.