TV channels under immense pressure: Pro-Kurdish party spokesman

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) spokesman, Saruhan Oluc, said on Friday that TV channels did not air HDP’s 37-second video advertisement ahead of the local elections, due to immense pressure from the government.

“What we usually do is send our video advertisements to the TV channels and ask for their advertising rates,” Oluc said. He claimed that the TV channels affirmed the legality of the ads and said they would be aired on March 9 and 10.

“On Monday, we called the TV channels when the ads had not been aired on the days promised. The TV channels that had previously said there were no legal problems, were now saying there were ongoing legal checks. Some channels did not even answer our calls, probably due to embarrassment. There is no reason not to air the ads,” said the HDP spokesman, claiming that there is immense government pressure on TV channels.

“They are afraid of punitive action. Some of them fear cash fines and some fear of losing their advertisement revenue due to government blockade. They do not want to disrupt their relations with the government so they did not air our party’s ad,” underlined Oluc, claiming that TV channels do not abide by the communication ethics they should be following.

HDP shared the video ad on Twitter to reach its audience after not being aired on TV.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan maintains a discourse that equates HDP, the third biggest party in the parliament, with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish militant group that has waged an armed insurgency in southeastern Turkey for decades.

Erdogan also slammed the opposition for allying with HDP, alleging on various occasions that the PKK leader Ocalan is in control of the opposition.

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