Turkish elections: broadcasting ban goes into effect

Bar on transmission of political broadcasts and advertising entered into force on Saturday morning ahead of local elections

Bar on transmission of political broadcasts and advertising entered into force on Saturday morning ahead of local elections

ANKARA – Pre-election broadcasting bans entered into force in Turkey on Saturday morning, the country's High Election Board and Radio and Television Supreme Council has announced.

Political parties and candidates cannot participate in TV or radio programs in the 24 hours before the day of voting, the High Election Board (YSK) said in a statement, adding that their meeting could also not be broadcast.

It is also forbidden to broadcast political advertising as of 00:00 on Saturday, the same source said, and no news on election results, comments or predictions can be broadcast between Saturday 18:00 and Sunday 18:00.

Media organization are allowed to publish election-related news from 18:00 to 21:00 on Sunday.

Broadcasting is scheduled to be free after 21:00 on Sunday, YSK said, although the bar could be removed before if it is deemed necessary.

- Significant elections

A ban on selling alcohol will also be in place from 06:00 on Sunday, when the voting process begins in the east of Turkey, until midnight.

With the exception of security forces, nobody is allowed to carry a gun on election day.

On Sunday, Turks are due to elect mayors of cities and districts, city council members, and non-partisan 'muhtars' for villages and neighborhoods. 

But for many Turkish citizens and the international community, the significance of the upcoming elections goes beyond local administration, with the outcome expected to have wider repercussions on politics both within the country and beyond.

March 30 marks the first ballot since last year’s anti-government protests in the summer and the anti-corruption investigations in December.

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