Erdoğan ads ‘cover all of Turkey’
Oya Armutçu ANKARA
Opposition parties’ presidential candidates claim Erdoğan has an unfair competitive advantage in the race.The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has requested to rent all of the available billboards in Turkey for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s soon-to-be-concluded presidential campaign, a representative of the main opposition claimed.
“Like previous elections, the AKP has sent a request to the High Election Board (YSK), asking to rent all of the remaining billboards,” Mehmet Hadimi Yakupoğlu, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) representative at the YSK, told daily Hürriyet on Aug. 5.
“As the CHP, we have a very small budget, so we rented a very limited number of billboards. Mr. Erdoğan covers all of the billboards in Turkey,” Yakupoğlu added, complaining that it is not legally possible to sue the practice on the grounds of inequality.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), however, succesfully forced authorities to remove Erdoğan ads in the western province of Bursa. The District Election Board in Yenişehir decided to remove the ads after the MHP's complaint based on the constitutional principle of equality.
All 20 billboards in the town were occupied by Erdoğan ads. Adnan Kamil, district chair of AKP, said a company had rented the billboards without the party's approval and that they removed the ads immediately after the board's ruling.
The presidential elections are scheduled for Aug. 10. The YSK can investigate the candidates’ bank accounts for the donations they have received. In the case of an illegal donation, the board has the authority to press charges on people responsible.
Opposition parties’ presidential candidates claim Erdoğan has an unfair competitive advantage in the race. Erdoğan also neglected returning the opposition’s calls for a live TV debate with every candidate.