Electoral advertising in Turkey is possible under certain
conditions stipulated by law. The principal law which regulates the
principles of elections in Turkey is the Law on Basic Provisions on
Elections and Voters Registers (“Election Law”).
According to Article 55/B of the
Election Law, the political parties and independent candidates can
make propagandas by oral, written or visual advertisements oriented
to the voting period in printed media or by way of opening websites
within the permitted propaganda period which begins from the
morning of the 10. day prior to the voting day and ends at 18.00 on
the day before the voting day.
Another law having provisions re
electoral broadcasting and electoral advertising is the Law on
Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises and their Media
Services (“RTUK Law”).
Article 31 of the RTUK Law allows the
media service providers to broadcast advertisements of political
parties and candidates during an election period as announced by
the High Election Board (the “Election Board”) until
the time the broadcast prohibition starts. On the other side,
Article 30 of the RTUK Law allows broadcast during election period,
stating that all the procedures and principles in relation to
broadcasts on elections which will be made during the election
period shall be solely regulated and controlled by the Election
Board and makes reference to the relevant articles of the Election
Coming to its practice in Turkey, the
electoral advertising is extensively made during the election
periods. It would not be wrong to say that the governing party
makes the most extensive advertising but needless to say, the
opposing parties also use electoral advertising as an important
tool during the election periods.
On August 10, 2014, there was a
presidential election in Turkey. It was the first time in Turkey
where the Turkish nationals directly voted for their president. The
candidates for this election were from the governing party AKP and
the opposing parties CHP and HDP. During this election period, it
was very obvious that the candidate of AKP who was also the Prime
Minister in Turkey was more advertised than the others. Such that;
one of his advertisement films broadcasted for the promotion of his
presidential election campaign has been banned by the Election
Board. The Election Board rendered the ban decision upon the appeal
of another opposing party MHP. The commercial was banned on the
grounds that it abused religious feelings by depicting the Azan, a
prayer mat and a woman performing Namaz (praying of Muslims).
As can be seen, no matter there are
rules for electoral advertising, the dominance and the economic
power of the governing parties/candidates also play an important
role on the volume of the advertisement. However, the strict
control of the Election Board seems to maintain the balance during
these election periods.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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