Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) gave permission for jailed Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş to appear on state-run TRT by video recording in advance of elections slated for June 24.
The YSK traditionally allows each candidate airtime on TRT for two 10-minute election campaign videos. In Demirtaş’s case, an appearance from jail will be a first in Turkey’s history.
His speech will be recorded by TRT staff under the supervision of a YSK member, although it is not yet clear where Demirtaş will speak. The HDP requested special permission for its candidate to go to TRT’s Ankara studios, just like the other candidates.
TRT will also broadcast the speeches of presidential candidates Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Muharrem İnce, Meral Akşener, Temel Karamollaoğlu and Doğu Perinçek.
Demirtaş has been under pretrial detention since November 2016.
His lawyers applied to the Constitutional Court for his release during the election campaign after two local courts rejected the same application.