The presidential candidate for Turkey’s main opposition has hit out at a lack of mainstream media coverage for opposition parties and candidates before elections in June.
Muharrem Ince, the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) candidate to challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the June 24 snap elections, claimed that a “media embargo” had been placed on opposition parties upon Erdogan’s request.
“Television channels, which even broadcast the AK Party’s provincial congresses live, did not show our rally in Yalova live. We will go on by fighting with this media structure,” Ince said on Twitter yesterday.
“If the media embargo ordered by the Palace continues, we will hold our rallies in front of TV stations,” he said, referring to the 1,000-room presidential palace built by Erdogan in Ankara.
Neither Erdogan nor the AKP have responded directly to claims that coverage of the opposition is being curbed.
Turkish media is saturated with coverage of Erdogan and his ministers, with the president’s daily routine of two or three speeches being broadcast on all major channels, while opposition parties get little to no coverage.
Rallies by the CHP, pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) and the fledgling Iyi (Good) Party, led by former interior minister Meral Aksener, are rarely shown by the main broadcasters.
On Friday, the HDP streamed the nomination of its jailed former leader Selahattin Demirtas as a presidential candidate on social media when broadcasters ignored their announcement.