In the final stretch leading up to the May 28 run-off presidential elections, Osmangazi District Election Board on May 26 imposed a ban on the public screening of the main opposition bloc’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's appearance on the widely-watched YouTube channel Babala TV on a large screen at Bursa province’s city square, following an objection raised by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Despite the airing of the program happened in the city square also on May 25, the AKP raised objections, deeming it as nothing more than a “defamation” attempt. Consequently, the District Electoral Board conceded to the AKP's request even though members from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Good (İYİ) Party presented dissenting opinions.
In the viral talk show program, Kılıçdaroğlu met with hundreds of young people who mainly do not support him and his party. They directly asked several controversial questions to Kılıçdaroğlu regarding topics such as the headscarf issue, the allegations linking him with terrorist organizations, national security, economic policies, and so on.
As of 26 May, the video received approximately 22.6 million views in one day.
In several provinces, CHP municipalities screened Kılıçdaroğlu's program in the public in a move to break the government's embargo on Kılıçdaroğlu who received very little air time on state-run networks.
Cumhurbaşkanı adayımız Sn. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu nun katıldığı Babala Tv programı Yürüyüş yolunda bekliyoruz. pic.twitter.com/U8uWFXvhu3— Fatma Kaplan Hürriyet (@fatmakaplan) May 26, 2023
In the May 14 presidential elections, People's Alliance candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan officially received 49.52% of the votes, whereas Kılıçdaroğlu received 44.88%. This is the first time Turkey will experience a run-off election on May 28.