Propaganda term ends on eve of election in Turkey

Propaganda term finishes and electoral prohibitions start in Turkey ahead of Sunday’s general election

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The electoral prohibitions over Turkey’s 25th general election has started at 6:00pm on Saturday, finishing the propaganda term for politicians and parties.

Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) announced that the political parties and the candidates can not organise any public events aiming political propaganda until the end of the election.

More than 53 million Turkish voters will head to the polls on Sunday in one of the country’s most eagerly awaited general election in a decade.

The electoral broadcast ban has also started on Saturday, 24 hours before the election, and will  be in place until 9:00pm  on Sunday.

The 174,240 polling stations will open at 8:00am local time (0600 GMT) and close at 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Sunday. According to the Foreign MInistry, 1,031,917 citizens - nearly a 36 percent of the overseas electorate - voted abroad at 122 embassies and consulates, which closed on last Sunday.

The votes from 33 ballot stations at airports and border crossings will be collected when the polls close on Sunday.

Selling alcoholic drinks is forbidden on election day from 6:00am until midnight, while the restaurants which serve alcohol will be allowed to sell only meals.

The vote will decide 550 deputies from among 20 political parties and 165 independent candidates to the Turkish Grand National Assembly, to represent 85 constituencies in 81 provinces for a four-year term.

Turkey elects its parliamentary representatives through a closed list system of proportional representation that sees a set number of candidates elected per district. In all but three cases a district corresponds to a province - only in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir provinces are there multiple districts.

Under this system, a political party must achieve a nationwide 10 percent threshold to send its members to the parliament. Votes for any party that fails to achieve the threshold are disregarded and each district’s seats are proportionally allocated to parties that cross the threshold.

This means a party can secure a highest number of votes in one province but fail to gain any seats in the assembly because of a poor performance nationwide.

Among Turkey’s 81 provinces, Istanbul sends the greatest number of lawmakers to parliament – 88 deputies from three districts - due to its huge population. Sparsely populated Konya, the province covering the largest geographical area, sends just 14 deputies.

The election will be overseen by observers from civil society groups and political parties as well as international monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe.

TRTWorld and agencies