Erdogan’s rival accuses Russia of interfering in the Turkish elections, and the Kremlin responds
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the main rival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has issued a warning to Russia, accusing it of being responsible for posting fake material on social media ahead of Sunday’s polls; This prompted a response from the Russian presidency.
Today, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the “allegations” of Russia’s interference in the Turkish presidential elections are “false and fabricated by liars.”
Peskov added that the people who reported such allegations to Kılıçdaroğlu are “liars,” and that Russia “very values its relations with Turkey.”
Kılıçdaroğlu said his party had material evidence of Russia’s responsibility for spreading “deep fake” content online ahead of the presidential elections.
When asked why he wrote a tweet, yesterday, Thursday, stating that Russia was responsible, he told “Reuters”, “I would not have written the tweet if we did not have it (the physical evidence).” He added that the party did not communicate with the Russian embassy in Türkiye about the matter.
Kılıçdaroğlu continued, during an interview: “We see that it is unacceptable for another country to interfere in the Turkish electoral process in the interest of a political party. I wanted the whole world to be aware of this, so I spoke publicly through a tweet.”
From his office in Ankara, Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated his confidence that he would “replace an authoritarian regime” on Sunday, with Kılıçdaroğlu ahead of Erdogan in most opinion polls.
Kıldaroğlu, 74, a former government employee, stressed that Turkey has close economic relations with Russia, and indicated that he would seek to strike a delicate balance in foreign policy regarding relations with Moscow.
He added, “We want to maintain our relations, and we do not want to sever the bonds of friendship between us, but we will not allow interference in our internal affairs.”
He said he would push for another peace initiative between Russia and Ukraine, once he wins Sunday’s election.
And he added, “It is very important for us, and for the whole world, if we succeed in reaching a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine. But we must make it clear that it is not right for any country to occupy another country.”
When asked if he would support the expansion of NATO if he was elected president, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “Of course,” without going into details.