Turkey’s Election: Opposition Claims Russian Interference

Did this come out of the Hilary Clinton play book? Seems to have. This appears to be desperate propaganda tactic on the part of the opposition. Suggestive, at least to me, that the numbers don’t look good for the coalition of frenemies. The claims are absurd, in my opinion. Turkey and Russia have had diplomatic/realpolitik working relationship for a very long time. Covered by yours truly for years. Having nothing to do with this election.

Why Kilicdaroglu suspects Russian interference

The photo used by MME is from 6 years ago.

Turkish opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu shocked many on Thursday when he openly accused Russia of trying to interfere with Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections in two days’ time. 

Russian friends, you are behind conspiracies, deep fake content and tapes that were revealed in this country yesterday,” Kilicdaroglu tweeted in Turkish and Russian. “If you wish for our friendship to continue after 15 May, take your hands off the Turkish state.” 

On Friday, the Kremlin denied Kilicdaroglu’s allegations. 

“Moscow does not interfere in the internal politics of other states,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Peskov said Kilicdaroglu’s sources were liars and Russia valued its ties with Turkey enormously.

Later, Kilicdaroglu told the media that he has “concrete evidence” to back his claims, saying he wouldn’t have blamed Russia otherwise.

From the Clintons? Or from the Democratic party in the US?

As absurd now as it was then

Kilicdaroglu’s claim came as breakaway opposition candidate Muharrem Ince withdrew from the race on Thursday, citing an online smear campaign he maintains is fake. Ince gave few details, though fake (?) sex tapes and doctored pictures showing him cheating on his wife have reportedly been circulating online in recent days.

A senior Turkish opposition official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject, told Middle East Eye that there were many reasons to suspect Moscow’s interference in the elections in Turkey, citing the close ties between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. 

An anonymous opposition official- worthless.

“They have been funding Erdogan’s election campaign promises through several steps for the past six months with billions of dollars,” the official said. “Funding through the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, deferral of gas payments and so on and so forth.” 

Also known as gossip mongering

The Turkish opposition official added that Putin’s remarks in April during a nuclear fuel delivery ceremony were not to be taken lightly. 

Putin, in a lengthy speech, praised Erdogan for his leadership, saying that the construction of the plant was a convincing example of how much he is doing for his country, its economic growth and for the Turkish people. “I will put it straight: you are setting ambitious goals, and you are confidently implementing them,” he said. 

Putin’s role in Syria talks

The Turkish opposition official said Putin also helped Erdogan by brokering talks between Ankara and Syria at a time when Erdogan has come under fire over the presence of nearly 3.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Many voters are demanding a plan for their repatriation. With relations between Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad historically poor, the Turkish opposition jumped on the popular sentiment by insisting the government could not deliver this wish.

Yet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad in Moscow four days ahead of the elections, a first meeting since 2011. Russia is the Syrian government’s most important patron.

“The Russians did everything to bring both sides together before the elections,” the opposition official said. “Everything possible in Syria is done.” 

The Russians, Iranians and Turks have been working on fence mending with Syria for years now. Years and years. This latest meeting did not occur in a vacuum. And, frankly, if you didn’t know that, you’ve not been paying attention

A couple of fake articles alleging US involvement in the attempted coup, with titles such as “Top US national security official admits Turkey coup”, were pushed out by suspected Russian-controlled websites.

I started to laugh at the absurdity of the opposition claims that Russian controlled websites planted the story of US involvement in the Turkish coup.

The official declined to disclose the names of the alleged Russian companies, saying that the opposition doesn’t want to enter into a shouting match with the Russians as well as the government, which could be used against them during a tight and tense race.

Of course the unnamed, anonymous opposition official declined to disclose names..

There’s more gossip at the link

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