Less than two weeks remain before Turkey’s referendum on a presidential system and street campaigners are baring the brunt of grievances ahead of the polarizing decision. Diego Cupolo reports from Ankara.
He was then interrupted by an elderly "No" voter who had been listening in. "Burn in hell." "What democracy?" the man shouted. "I don't want listen to the same speech by the same man on five different TV channels. I want real democracy. You are all liars! You are all liars and you will burn in hell!" That outburst was a reference to national news coverage of the referendum, in which "Yes" vote supporters were getting significantly more airtime than their counterparts. A recent study of TRT Haber, the publicly-owned and financed national broadcaster, found that President Erdogan and officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had been given 4,113 minutes of coverage in the first three weeks of March. During the same period, opposition advocates with Republican People's Party (CHP) were on air for 216 minutes while the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) had just one minute of coverage. Before ending his outburst, the elderly man also pointed out that law students with the "No" campaign had tried to set up a tent on the same street corner to share their analyses on the constitution, but were denied permission.When asked about the apparent biases, Tugral simply said, "Oppression is in the nature of campaigning."