Deputy PM criticizes Germany for allowing pro-Kurdish party rally: Election countdown - Ahval live blog

Demirtaş applies to join election talk show through prison payphone

Selahattin Demirtaş, the presidential candidate for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has requested permission to make an appearance on a popular election talk show through the public payphone in Edirne Prison, where he is being held on terror charges.

Demirtaş has applied to the Ministry of Justice for permission to use his 10-minute phone allowance to call in to the May 30 Fox TV show "Leaders on Fox." 

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Deputy PM Bekir Bozdag criticised Germany for allowing HDP rally

The Turkish deputy prime minister Bekir Bozdağ on Monday accused Germany of interfering the Turkish elections on June 24, Anadolu Agency reported 

“Turkish people feel uncomfortable over the meddling in domestic affairs, interference in elections, and an interventionist attitude. So do we,” Bekir Bozdag said to reporters in central Anatolian city Yozgat.

“I say, let’s use the ballot to give the biggest response to Germany. With a comeback which will please Turkey and upset Germany on June 24, all their anti-Turkey efforts will go down the drain,” Bozdağ added.

Bozdağ’s comments came after the German authorities allowed a rally by the mainly Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Cologne on Saturday. 

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144 thousand people are affected for moving ballot boxes

Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) on Saturday reviewed the requests submitted from local election boards and decided to transfer ballot boxes in 19 provinces to other locations for the upcoming elections on Jun. 24, news site Duvar reported .

Some voters, mainly in rural areas, will have to cast their votes 5 km. away from their places of residence due to the decision of the YSK, which did not take into account the total number of voters affected, while reviewing the requests. 

YSK president Sadi Guven made a statement on Monday and stated that "there are 144 thousand voters being affected for moving of ballot boxes due to security reasons."


Private news channels follow state-owned TRT in unbalanced election coverage

In the absence of effective control and enforcement by Turkey's state broadcasting watchdog (RTÜK), not only state-owned TRT, but also private television channels have been giving disproportionate air time to certain political parties and presidential candidates ahead of the elections on Jun. 24, favouring the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Cumhuriyet reported on Sunday.

Between May 1-25, TRT news channel covered the election alliance of the ruling AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for 31 hours, 25 minutes, while allowing the CHP and its presidential candidate only 3 hours, 38 minutes airtime, according to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) representatives in RTÜK.

Other parties fared even worse. The newly established right wing İYİ Party was given only 9 minutes and 30 seconds, whilst the Islamist Felicity Party and the mainly-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party were totally ignored in TRT news coverage.

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HDP’s Demirtaş campaigns from his prison cell

Selahattin Demirtaş, former People’s Democratic Party's (HDP) co-chair and the pro-Kurdish party's candidate in approaching presidential elections said that he has not even have eye contact with anyone in prison other than his cellmate, according to an interview with Cumhuriyet newspaper on Monday. 

Demirtaş shares his prison cell with another imprisoned former HDP deputy MP, Abdullah Zeydan. “Me and Abdullah Zeydan have never had even eye contact with any other inmates in prison. We play basketball for one hour indoors and football for one hour on an artificial pitch every week,” Demirtaş told Cumhuriyet newspaper, adding that the two cellmates are always alone. 

Demirtaş also added that, although he was in prison, he has had a very heavy schedule since being nominated, sleeping only 4-5 hours every night. Since his campaign began he has joked on social media about organising election rallies every day in his cell by talking to Abdullah Zeydan.

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