The Supreme Election Board (YSK) has changed its decision for presidential candidate and jailed politician Selahattin Demirtaş, who applied to be taken to Ankara for videos to be broadcast on state-run TRT for the upcoming elections in Turkey on June 24, and ruled that Demirtaş be taped in Edirne Prison, where he has been incarcerated since November 2016.
The YSK previously approved an application from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for Demirtaş to record two 10-minute-long campaign speeches at TRT studios in Ankara, like other candidates, the Anadolu news agency reported yesterday.
TRT will start to broadcast the speeches of presidential candidates on June 17, with Doğu Perinçek appearing first, followed by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Selahattin Demirtaş, Temel Karamollaoğlu and Meral Akşener.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce has refused to appear on TRT, which he criticized for a lack of news coverage on the opposition.
Yesterday Demirtaş addressed the Turkish public in a speech delivered from prison via a telephone call to his wife.
“I think this is the first time in the world that a presidential candidate will deliver a campaign speech from prison,” he said in a statement to announce his telephone address.
On May 29 Demirtaş’s lawyers applied to Turkey’s Constitutional Court for his release.
Demirtaş ran against Erdoğan in the 2014 presidential election and lost. However, he has remained one of the most popular political figures in Turkey.