The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the rival candidate today Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and head of the Alliance for the Nation, to take orders from the president of the United States, Joe Biden.
Speaking at a rally in Umraniye, a district of the metropolitan municipality of Istanbul, a few hours before tomorrow’s vote, Erdogan criticized the opposition leader’s recent statements on Moscow. “Kilicdaroglu says he will impose sanctions on Russia. What kind of idea is this? To date, Russia is one of our most important allies in agricultural products and the defense sector. Almost 5 million tourists come from Russia. Will he do it on US instruction? Tomorrow the elections will also give an answer to Biden,” Erdogan said.
Turkish President Erdogan: “Biden ordered to overthrow Erdogan. Tomorrow the vote will give Biden an answer." pic.twitter.com/jfMCrMV6Tv
— Spriter (@Spriter99880) May 13, 2023
Kilicdaroglu, however, yesterday accused Russia of having interfered in the electoral campaign of the elections that will take place tomorrow, May 14th. The 74-year-old politician announced that he has concrete evidence of Russia’s responsibility for spreading “deeply false” content online. The head of the CHP, the party heir to the Kemalists and ally of the nationalist far-right, accused the Kremlin of having built “deepfake” videos, a technique that uses artificial intelligence to superimpose faces and manipulate videos making them almost indistinguishable from the originals.
“Dear Russian friends, you are behind the fabrications, conspiracies, deepfake content and tapes exposed yesterday in this country,” wrote Kilicdaroglu, adding that: “If you want our friendship to continue after May 15, please remove your hands by the Turkish state. We are still in favor of cooperation and friendship”.
One of the four candidates for the Turkish presidency, Muharrem Ince, unexpectedly withdrew after 45 days of alleged “defamatory attacks” following the release of a video with compromising sexual content, which however is alleged to be a fake. The response from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was not long in coming, denying Moscow’s meddling in the Turkish electoral campaign. “We strongly reject such claims and officially declare that there can be no talk of any kind of interference.” “If anyone gave Mr. Kilicdaroglu such information, he is a liar,” Peskov added.