ANKARA - As the state broadcaster airs its Kurdish channel, new election regulations came into effect yesterday banning the use of any language other than Turkish in election campaigns.
The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation’s, or TRT, new channel, TRT 6, was created to service Kurdish speakers.
According to regulations issued by the Supreme Election Board, or YSK, in the Official Gazette on the last day of last year, the elections bans are divided into two parts.
The first section will be effective from Jan. 1 to March 28, the day before local elections are scheduled.
The second section will cover the period from March 19 until after the elections.
The Turkish flag or religious symbols can not be used in pamphlets and campaign posters printed by the political parties.
Any language other than Turkish cannot be used in any part of the election campaign. Party posters or flags will not be forbidden from hanging in residential homes or offices.
Parties will not be allowed to distribute anything that can be considered as gifts, apart from party brochures, to promote candidates. Municipal services will not be used for election propaganda. Mobile phone messages promoting a candidate or a party will not be allowed. According to YSK regulations, parties will only be able to hold rallies in areas designated by the local YSK bureaus in the last ten days of the election campaign.
Politicians will not be allowed to use their official vehicles for election purposes and their campaign visits around the country will not be categorized as official visits. No public servant will be allowed to accompany top government officials on campaign visits.