Opposition leader says critical election ad removed due to government pressure

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Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoglu (Turkish Presidency / Murat Cetinmuhurdar / Handout)

Chairman of the opposition Felicity Party (SP) Temel Karamollaoğlu said on Wednesday that an election ad his party ran was removed as a result of pressure on advertising agencies.

The ad, which drew parallels with a con artist named Sülün Osman and corruption, went viral on social media on Wednesday.

“I don’t know why the government is so scared of Sülün Osman, but they exerted pressure and made advertising agencies remove the ad,” Karamollaoğlu told reporters at a press conference.

Sülün Osman was a notorious con artist who sold public properties such as bridges in İstanbul and charged people for crossing bridges in the 1950s and 1960s. The SP ad drew a parallel to the exorbitant new bridge tolls in Turkey. The government had provided the operators of new bridges with payment guarantees to be paid by taxpayers even if the bridges were unused by the public.

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