If you want people to take something seriously, they say you should appeal to their emotions or culture and help them identify with something they love. For the locals of Şanlıurfa in southeastern Turkey, this was, of course, red hot isot peppers.
The Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality was Monday seen distributing free face masks in the city to raise awareness about COVID-19 prevention measures with the help of mascots dressed in outfits depicting the city’s famous isot peppers.
Especially since study after study has stressed the efficacy of masks in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and recent research suggesting that coronavirus immunity does not last more than a few months, the novel initiative was even more spot-on.
Wearing large masks themselves, the mascots walked in the city's busiest streets, squares and historical markets and around the Balıklıgöl area, cautioning people to abide by social distancing rules. They advised people to keep their hands clean and wear masks.
The locals thanked the municipality teams for their service and in accordance with their advice wore the free masks. They also took photographs with the isot pepper mascots.
Isot pepper, or sometimes knows as Urfa pepper, is a dried Turkish chili pepper local to the Şanlıurfa region. The chili pepper cultivated in the region is sundried and then wrapped tightly at night. When the process is complete, the pepper turns a deep purple or dark black and is called isot pepper. The pepper carries significant importance in the region and in traditional Turkish cuisine in general.
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