Hilmi Daşdemir, a pro-government pollster, left a live broadcast of Turkey’s Habertürk angrily on Monday after the program’s moderator opposed his claim regarding Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
The pollster argued that Kılıçdaroğlu was the presidential candidate of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People’s Party (HDP) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) during the live broadcast.
Other participants of the live debate opposed Daşdemir’s language, while Kübra Par, the moderator of the program intervened and requested Daşdemir calm down.
“Mr. Hilmi, I will intervene. Mr. Hilmi please calm down and be silent and listen to my intervention,” Par said. “Look, I am giving you space on the grounds of freedom of expression for you to express your own opinions about the relation between the HDP and the PKK,” she added.
“These are realities,” Daşdemir continued shouting, while Par still tried to calm him down. “Please listen to me. I am expecting a minimum level of politeness from you,” the moderator said.
“Then bye bye,” Daşdemir said in response, while standing up and taking off his microphone.
“I am placing a moderator’s reservation to the argument that Kılıçdaroğlu is the PKK’s candidate,” Par added afterwards.
The heated debate on Habertürk took place after Kılıçdaroğlu, the presidential candidate of the six-party Nation Alliance, met with HDP officials in the Turkish parliament earlier on Monday.
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party is expected to announce on Wednesday whether or not it will support Kılıçdaroğlu on 14 May elections.
Habertürk is listed among pro-government outlets in the Turkish media, but the channel has been following a more neutral stance in recent months, giving some opposition figures more and more airtime.
Mithat Sancar, the co-chair of the HDP, also talked on Habertürk two weeks ago, while other pro-government channels totally ignore the officials of the HDP.