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Video shows December rally organized by Turkish political party

December 20, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows people in Turkey protesting vaccine passports.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video shows thousands attending a Dec. 4 political rally in the coastal city of Mersin, Turkey, calling for snap elections. It was organized by the Republican People’s Party, referred to as CHP.

THE FACTS: A video showing crowds attending the “Voice of the Nation” rally in Mersin, circulated on Twitter recently with false claims that it showed protests against COVID-19 vaccine passports.

“Turkey says#NoVaccinePassportsAnywhere,” a tweet featuring the video falsely stated.

The mayor of the Yenişehir district in Mersin, Abdullah Özyiğit, tweeted the video on Dec. 4 with the caption “Thank you Mersin.” Multiple Turkish media outlets also posted the video.

CHP organized the rally, according to Özge Mumcu Aybars, advisor to CHP’s foreign relations department.

“This is surely not a rally for anti - vaccination; this is a political rally organised from CHP,” Aybars said in an email to The Associated Press, noting that the rally was organized to put pressure on the government to hold early elections.

Opposition leaders have called for early general elections, accusing Erdogan of mismanaging the economy. Erdogan insists the election will be held in 2023 as planned, the AP reported.

Turkey’s currency has dipped to an all-time low, depreciating nearly 60% against the dollar since the year started. Erdogan, who has been in power for nearly two decades, has called for keeping interest rates low to boost growth, defying economists who are in favor of higher interest rates to drive prices down.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.