Kremlin 'strongly' denies Kılıçdaroğlu's accusations of meddling in vote

Kremlin 'strongly' denies Kılıçdaroğlu's accusations of meddling in vote

Kremlin strongly denies Kılıçdaroğlus accusations of meddling in vote

The Kremlin on May 12 denied it was meddling in Türkiye's presidential election campaign, after Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's main rival accused Moscow of spreading "deep fakes" targeting him.

"We strongly reject such statements," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"We officially declare: there can be no talk of any interference."

"If someone provided Mr Kılıçdaroğlu with such information, they are liars," Peskov said.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader and Nation Alliance’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu accused Russia on May 11 of fabricating deepfake videos ahead of the key May 14 polls.

“Dear Russian friends, you are behind the fabrications, conspiracies, deepfake content and tapes exposed in this country yesterday. If you want the continuation of our friendship after May 15, take your hands off the Turkish state. We are still in favor of cooperation and friendship,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, CHP adviser Erdoğan Toprak also said they were receiving reports that Russia was intervening in the Turkish elections.

“We think that some covert moves aimed at the campaign are underway. We don’t want these. We want our centuries-old relationship to continue like this,” he told daily Sözcü on May 11.

Muharrem İnce, one of the four presidential contenders, announced his decision to withdraw from the race on May 11 and expressed his fury over conspiracies against him that included a “fake” sex videotape circulated on social media on May 10.
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik called on the CHP to share the relevant information with state institutions if they have received such a piece of information.

“I can’t talk about a country by stating that someone said something. I know that this is harmful to the life of the state and the nation. If you hear of something, go and share it with the relevant institutions,” Çelik said.

Commenting on Muharrem İnce’s withdrawal from the presidential race, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu blamed the U.S. for interfering in Türkiye’s elections.

“America has been interfering with this election from the very beginning,” Soylu said in a televized interview on May 12.

Soylu claimed that U.S. President Joe Biden earlier said that his country was not able to interfere in the Turkish politics in the 2016 coup attempt. The minister suggested that Biden also said, “This time, we will do it with an election and not a coup.”  

“The [U.S.’] basic logic is ‘If İnce was the former CHP candidate, we would get the votes that went to him.’”