YSK announces broadcasting rules for election period
Ankara, May 10 - The Supreme Election Board (YSK) has announced the pre-election rules that will govern the use of public broadcasting and advertising for election campaigning and the use of official vehicles allocated to the prime minister, ministers and deputies for campaign purposes.
According to the guidelines billboards and advertising spaces belonging to individuals or municipalities will be leased to political parties on an equal time and quantity basis. The YSK also decided that trains, subways and buses serving the general public will be prohibited from bearing political advertising and that campaign propaganda will not be allowed on highway overpasses, in religious buildings and in buildings serving the general public.
The regulations governing the campaign season that will start on July 12 are almost identical to those of previous elections in that they forbid political parties from distributing anything other than flyers and brochures, employing minors in the distribution of such material, accepting donations from nongovernmental organizations, using the Turkish flag or religious symbols on printed material and employing any language other than Turkish on their political promotions.
The YSK also regulated the use of mobile phones and SMS messages in political campaigning by banning any use of mobile phones by political offices and stating that legal and criminal responsibility will fall on the mobile phone companies if this prohibition is violated.
The YSK regulations also ban partisan political speeches and declarations at any opening or groundbreaking ceremonies for services funded by public monies, along with a ban on any advertisements on their grounds. The prime minister, ministers and deputies who are allocated official vehicles will not be able to use such conveyances for election trips after July 12, the official start of the campaign season. During campaign trips reception and farewell ceremonies as part of official protocol will not be conducted, and no public official will take part in the campaign trips of the prime minister, ministers or deputies.
Voter records on public review
Electoral records put together for the first time with the Computer-based Elector Record System (SEÇSİS) will be available for public review from today onward. Electors who are not listed for any reason, have moved recently or have any mistake in their identity information will have an opportunity to apply to the district mukhtar and correct the records. The YSK has a form for the enrolment of new votes on its official website, www.ysk.gov.tr which must be completed for application to the mukhtar.
Radio and Television Supreme Board (RTÜK) Chairman Zahid Akman has announced the election period broadcasting guidelines. Akman said RTÜK had already noticed some radio and television stations continuing to broadcast illegal advertisements and that RTÜK will inform the YSK about these companies. Akman mentioned broadcasts concerning public surveys in particular, saying that according to the regulations, broadcasting companies are required to air the results of any public survey along with its backer, methodology of survey group selection, the number of those surveyed and the methodology of data gathering as well as the dates the survey was carried out.