The Turkish opposition accuses Russia of meddling in Turkey’s elections to help President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stay in power. Photo/REUTERS
ANKARA – The Turkish opposition accuses Russia of trying to influence Sunday’s election (14/5/2023) to keep the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in office after several polls showed him on the verge of losing power.
Although Erdogan’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has long been a cause for concern, the sex tape scandal appears to be the stumbling block that broke the “camel’s back”.
Muharrem Ince, a presidential candidate who led the main opposition party in 2018, withdrew from the election this week over rumors of an alleged sex tape circulating online. This presidential candidate claims the footage is a deepfake and says he has gone through fake character assassination.
Soon after, Turkey’s opposition presidential candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, accused Russia of spreading deepfakes and conspiracies, including a sex tape exposed in Turkey.
“Get your hands off Turkey,” he wrote in a tweet.
Kilicdaroglu told Reuters he had concrete evidence to back up his assertion, but the Kremlin denied his accusations.
In an interview with The Daily Beast on Saturday (13/5/2023), a member of Parliament from the second largest party in Kilicdaroglu’s coalition said that, although he was not aware of the alleged evidence behind the remarks, it was clear that Moscow was helping Erdogan in his endeavors. to stay in power.
“For sure Russia intervened differently in the election,” said Ahmet Erozan, who helps lead foreign affairs for the Good Party.
Just three days before the election, Reuters reports that Russia is delaying a $600 million natural gas bill until next year.