The Supreme Election Council (YSK) will allow Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned presidential candidate of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), to campaign on state-owned broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT).
The YSK gave permission to presidential candidates Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Muharrem İnce, Meral Akşener, Temel Karamollaoğlu, Doğu Perinçek and Demirtaş to campaign using audio-visual materials on TRT.
All candidates will be entitled to two 10 minutes sessions for the first round on June 24. The same right will be recognized for a possible second round in the elections. The propaganda for the candidates will not be less than two minutes at a time and not more than 10 minutes per day.
Demirtaş's speech will be recorded by TRT personnel under the supervision of a member of the YSK, but the method of recording has not been determined. The recording could take place in Edirne Prison; meanwhile, the HDP has requested special permission for Demirtaş to attend TRT Studios in Ankara for the recording.
In November 2016, 13 HDP lawmakers were arrested, and 10 of them, including HDP's then-co-Chairs Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, remain under arrest awaiting trial on charges related to membership, leadership and committing crimes for the PKK terrorist group.
The HDP has come under fire for its close links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. Members of the party have so far declined to call the PKK a terrorist group and have attended PKK militants' funerals, two of whom were suicide bombers that killed dozens of civilians in multiple bombings in Ankara.
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