Russia rebuts Turkish presidential candidate’s accusations
Russia strongly denies allegations that Moscow is meddling in Türkiye’s presidential race, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has stated. He also called into question Turkish opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s ability to produce any proof to back up the claims.
Speaking on Saturday, Peskov reiterated that Russia categorically denies “accusations of interfering in the Turkish elections.”
Commenting on Kilicdaroglu’s pledge to present evidence of the alleged meddling, the Kremlin spokesman insisted that “he won’t be able to do that because there is in fact none.”
According to Peskov, the Russian leadership is disappointed by the opposition candidate’s claims, which run counter to the vision of the founder of the modern Turkish state, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, of deepening ties with Moscow.
He added that Russia “will respect the Turkish people’s choice.”
Peskov made similar statements on Friday when insisting that Russia has a policy of not meddling in other countries’ elections.
He went on to claim that those who “provided Mr. Kilicdaroglu with this information” are “liars.”
Last week, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) alleged on Twitter that Russian operatives had been behind the “montages, conspiracies, deep fakes and tapes” circulating in the country. Kilicdaroglu warned his “Russian friends” to get their “hands off Türkiye.”
Earlier this month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is vying for re-election, showed supporters footage purporting to link Kilicdaroglu to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist organization in Türkiye.
The opposition candidate dismissed the video as fake.
Commenting on the allegations of Russian meddling on Friday, Erdogan slammed Kilicdaroglu for his claims, adding that it is the West that is trying to sway the election.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu also accused the US of “interfering in this election from the very beginning.”
Polling stations opened on Sunday, with polls predicting a tight race between Kilicdaroglu and Erdogan.