Main opposition billboard rejected for being ‘over-critical’ of Turkish government
CHP Deputy Chair Gürsel Tekin claims that his party's election campaign billboards were rejected by advertising companies for being 'over-critical' of the government. AA photoThe main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has claimed that its election campaign billboards were rejected by advertising companies for being “over-critical” of the government.
“A majority of those companies are close to the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP]. Some of them are even conducting public relations campaigns for the AKP. Now, I’m appealing to the Supreme Election Board [YSK]. It should do its duty ... Who can explain this scandal?” CHP Deputy Chair Gürsel Tekin said at a press conference Dec. 12.
The issue was first brought up by another CHP deputy chair, Umut Oran, on Dec. 9. Oran claimed that the Stroer-Kentvizyon advertising agency had refused to display the CHP’s banners on outdoor billboards in Istanbul. He also submitted a parliamentary query regarding the Stroer-Kentvizyon advertising agency’s business affairs.
The caption on the CHP banner rejected by Stroer-Kentvizyon stated: “If citizens are paying their taxes, then the government should account for its actions as well.”
Tekin said that the CHP aimed to draw public attention to budget talks in Parliament and the lack of Supreme Court of Accounts reports via its billboard banners.
The advertising agency first asked the CHP officials to obtain permission from the Istanbul Police Department for the publication of the banners, Tekin said, adding that the police told them they did not need any police permission for outdoor billboards.
“When our fellows called the advertising agency again, they said that they would not publish our banners and claimed that they were against pre-election restrictions. However, when we examined the YSK’s regulations, we saw that our banners are not against pre-election restrictions,” he said.
“For the first time in recent history, an advertising agency is doing its utmost to mislead a political party. It’s a real scandal,” Tekin added.
In the same press conference, the CHP deputy chair also commented on speculation that early general elections might be held in 2014, which was recently prompted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s senior adviser Ertan Aydın.
“We never shy away from elections. We can hold the local and general elections together if they wish,” Tekin said.