Opposition should be ashamed of accusing Russia: Erdogan
Erdogan's comments are in response to Kemal Kilicdaroglu accusing Russia of meddling in the elections in Turkey.
According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, Turkish presidential contender Kemal Kilicdaroglu should be ashamed for accusing Russia of interference in Turkish elections.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Erdogan's chief rival in the presidential elections race, accused Russia of manufacturing and spreading "deep fakes" ahead of this weekend's general elections.
Kilicdaroglu's allegation came after Moharram Ince, a third presidential candidate, announced his withdrawal from the presidential race claiming he was targetted by an online smear campaign.
He also stated that Moscow "should keep its hands away from Turkey after May 15."
Sevgili Rus Dostlarımız,— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) May 11, 2023
Dün bu ülkede ortaya saçılan montajlar, kumpaslar, Deep Fake içerikler, kasetlerin arkasında siz varsınız. Eğer 15 Mayıs sonrası dostluğumuzun devamını istiyorsanız, elinizi Türk’ün devletinden çekin. Biz hala işbirlikten ve dostluktan yanayız.
On his part, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov rejected the accusations in a statement and said Russia "officially declare that there can be no question of any intervention. And if someone provided Mr. Kilicdaroglu with such information, then they are liars."
The Spokesperson added that Moscow values the relationship it has with Turkey "very, very much, because the Republic of Turkey has so far taken a very responsible, sovereign and thoughtful position on a whole range of regional and global problems that we face."
Peskov added that Russia would not harm Ankara in any way.
"And now Kemal has started teasing Russia. He says that Russia is influencing the elections [in Turkey]. How are you not ashamed? Shame on you. What will you say if we say that America, England and Germany are influencing the elections?" Erdogan said during a speech in Istanbul.
According to a poll conducted by the Optimar research center and cited by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took 51.4% of the votes, while his rival candidate of the opposition Kemal Kilicdaroglu got 48.6%.
In the survey of 3,005 people, conducted from April 25 to 28, the participants were asked: "Which of the candidates will you vote for in the presidential elections?"
Read more: Ankara to keep ties with Moscow despite election results: Opposition