Jailed HDP candidate Demirtaş allowed to campaign on state-run TRT
The Supreme Board of Election (YSK) has granted Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the right to conduct audio-visual campaigning to be aired on state-run TRT ahead of the June 24 presidential election.
The YSK granted presidential candidates President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Muharrem İnce, Meral Akşener, Temel Karamollaoğlu, Doğu Perinçek and Demirtaş permission to campaign through audio-visual material to appear on state-run TRT.
The candidates will have a right to deliver two 10-minute speeches to be aired on TV before June 24. If the presidential elections continue into a second round, the two candidates will have the same right to appear on TV for two 10-minute periods.
As Demirtaş is currently imprisoned in Edirne Prison, the procedure for the recording of his speech will mark a first in Turkish elections.
His speech will be recorded by TRT personnel under the supervision of a member of the YSK, though how the recording will take place has yet to be determined. The recording could take place in Edirne Prison, though the HDP has requested special permission to be granted for Demirtaş to attend a recording at the TRT Studios in Ankara.
The HDP’s top electoral board representative Mehmet Tiryaki told Voice of America that the HDP wants Demirtaş to be released for the entire campaigning period.
The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) YSK representative Recep Özel told daily Cumhuriyet that the two alternatives are currently being considered.