While polls indicate a close race between him and the president-elect, Turkey’s leading opposition candidate accused Russia of meddling in the election.
Turkey’s main opposition candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has accused Russia of interfering in the country’s ongoing presidential election campaign. Kilicdaroglu addressed Russia in a tweet, blaming them for “montages, conspiracies, deep fake content, and tapes” that emerged in Turkey. He urged Russia to refrain from interfering if they wished to maintain their friendship beyond May 15. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the accusation, stating that Russia does not interfere in the internal affairs and electoral processes of other countries. Polls indicate a close race between Kilicdaroglu and incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with Kilicdaroglu slightly ahead. If no candidate wins a majority in the first round on May 14, a second round will be held on May 28. Turkey’s increasing ties with Russia under Erdogan’s leadership have raised concerns in the West, and the upcoming elections are being closely watched.