TV stations cut live coverage of opposition rally as crowds chant anti-Erdoğan slogan

A number of Turkish television stations on Friday cut their live coverage of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce’s rally in İstanbul after the crowds chanted, ‘’Hırsız Tayyip,’’ (Tayyip the Thief), Turkish left-wing website reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is looking to retain his seat in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections which will usher in a new executive presidential system that grants increased powers to the president.

İnce’s campaign trail took him to İstanbul’s Göztepe district, where the CHP candidate addressed Friday's detention of and police intervention against high school students in İstanbul’s Kadıköy district, as they protested the Turkish education system. 

‘’They beat the children who gave Erdoğan a report card here today. I’m giving a report card, too. Will you beat me, too?’’ İnce asked. CNN Türk, NTV ve Habertürk TV stations all cut their live broadcasts shortly after crowds then began to chant ‘’Tayyip the thief,’’ in response to İnce's comments, reported.

Pro-government businessmen own Turkish newspapers and television stations that account for approximately 90 percent of total readers and viewers.