TTNet ad banned over favoritism complaint

September 07, 2010, Tuesday/ 17:03:00/ ASLIHAN AYDIN
The Supreme Election Board (YSK) has ordered TTNet, Turkey’s main Internet service provider, to discontinue broadcasting a TV ad that features “yes” in capital letters following complaints filed by opponents of the constitutional amendment package who say the ad is aimed at influencing voter preferences in favor of the package.

In the ad, a young mother is surprised to learn that she can purchase television, telephone and Internet services from the same provider, TTNet. She asks whether such a thing is possible. Her baby son in a stroller says “yes,” smiling. Then a man starts talking in the background: “Yes! With TTNet, watch TV, call your loved ones and have access to the Internet from anywhere you like. Everything is possible with TTNet.”

According to complaints, the ad serves the propaganda of supporters of planned changes to the Constitution. Examining the complaints and the ad, the YSK has ordered the Internet service provider to stop broadcasting the ad. TTNet has complied and has ceased airing the ad.

Television and radio stations are not allowed to feature ads aimed at influencing voters’ preferences during an election or referendum process. Turkey is scheduled to go to the ballot box on Sept. 12 to vote on a list of planned amendments to the Constitution.

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