Jun 13 2018

Opposition candidate to refuse speaking on Turkish state-owned TV

Turkey’s right-wing nationalist İYİ (Good Party) presidential candidate Meral Akşener, in an act of protest against pro-government media, will not be speaking on state-owned TRT television in the slot allotted for her as part of the air time the station has extended to all presidential candidates in the run up to the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, secular Cumhuriyet daily reported.

Turkey's state broadcasting watchdog (RTÜK) last month reported that 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 presidential and parliamentary elections, favouring Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

İYİ Party applied to the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) requesing that another İYİ Party member speak on the national broadcaster in Akşener’s place; however, the application was denied, the daily said.

İYİ Party was given only 9 minutes and 30 seconds of coverage of TRT between May 1-25, as compared to the alliance of the ruling AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which received 31 hours and 25 minutes.