Over the past six months, Russia has spent billions of dollars to help Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan win re-election, and Russian structures have launched campaigns against the Turkish opposition, the newspaper said. Middle East Eye. The publication concretizes the claims voiced by the candidate from the united opposition, Kemal Kylichdaroglu, the day before.
According to the Middle East Eye publication, Moscow directly supported Erdogan’s presidential campaign through Russian companies, and Russian hackers are falsifying videos and photos circulating on the Internet. One of these forgeries, according to the interlocutor of the publication, is a video in which the leader of the opposition, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, is shown together with the head of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Murat Karayilan, who is accused of terrorism. Erdogan showed this video at his election rallies.
The interlocutor of the publication refused to reveal the names of the structures that, according to his information, interfere in the affairs of Turkey. He explained this by the reluctance of the Turkish opposition to arrange a loud conflict with Russia and to give the Turkish authorities material that could be used against it. He also noted that the Russians, through intermediaries, informed the opposition that the Russian authorities had nothing to do with companies that could influence the elections: “They told us that these are private companies, they are the mafia.”
Recently, Russia has helped the Turkish authorities with money at least twice, Middle East Eye draws attention. “They financed Erdogan’s campaign promises in several stages during the last six months with billions of dollars,” he said. It is about the allocation of a loan of 10 billion rubles for the construction of the Akkuyu NPP in Turkey, as well as the agreement on the deferment of payments for gas for 600 million dollars, which Reuters wrote about. According to the agency, in general, Russia can delay payments to Turkey in the amount of up to 4 billion dollars.
The Middle East Eye source sees it as Moscow’s help and aiding the Russian authorities in holding the first meeting since 2011 between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mikdad four days before the election. The event took place in Moscow. The interlocutor explained that Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have a historically bad relationship, and that society in Turkey needs the repatriation of Syrian refugees, and the Turkish opposition has taken advantage of this.
We will remind, on May 14, presidential elections will be held in Turkey, in which Kemal Kylichdaroglu, a candidate from the united opposition, will oppose the current president. On Thursday, May 11, Kılıçdaroğlu accused the Russians of interfering in Turkey’s internal affairs: “You are behind the montages, conspiracies, Deep Fake content and recordings that were exposed in this country yesterday,” he wrote. The statement came amid the emergence of a video recording of the country’s presidential candidate, Muharrema Ince, allegedly talking to a sex worker. The politician called this video a fake, but withdrew his candidacy.
In response to Kylichdaroglu’s statement, Russian presidential spokesman Dmytro Peskov said that Moscow “strongly rejects” these accusations. “We officially declare that there is no question of any interference. If someone provided such information to Mr. Kylichdaroglu, then they are liars, so we must speak,” he said.
Putin and Erdogan have a long relationship. After the start of the war in Ukraine, Turkey did not join the sanctions against Moscow, increased the export of goods to Russia and increased the purchase of Russian fuel. Turkey also became a platform for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, it was in Istanbul in July that the “Grain Agreement” was signed, which provides for the export of grain from Ukraine. In August 2022, Erdogan came to Sochi for talks with Putin.