Opposition supporters protest Turkish media outlets’ 'embargo' of candidate

Supporters of Turkey’s right-wing nationalist Good (İYİ) Party gathered in front of pro-government television head offices on Tuesday to protest their refusal of air time for Good Party presidential candidate Meral Akşener ahead of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, independent news site Diken reported.

Akşener is running the upcoming elections against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is looking to retain his seat on June 24, when a new presidential executive system will come into effect which grants increased powers to the president. Turkey’s state-owned and private television channels have been criticized for giving disproportionate air time to certain political parties and presidential candidates ahead of the elections, favouring Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

İYİ Party supporters lit torches as they chanted slogans against censorship in front of the pro-government CNN Türk and Kanal D television stations as well as Hürriyet newspaper buildings, the site reported.

Protestors in front of CNN Türk and Kanal D television stations used a giant projection screen to play a live interview of Akşener on Habertürk television station.

The sale of Turkey’s Doğan Media Group to a pro-government conglomerate in Mar. 2018 tipped Turkish media overwhelmingly in favour of Turkey’s ruling AKP by bringing the proportion of media companies affiliated to the government to 90 percent.