Erdoğan’s main presidential election opponent accuses Russia of meddling in Turkey’s domestic affairs. Kremlin denies it

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stressed that Russia did not interfere in Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections, TASS quotes him as saying.

The statement comes as a response to a recent comment made by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, main opposition leader and unified opposition candidate challenging Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the upcoming election.

“We officially say that there can be no interference. If somebody supplied Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu with this information, these people are liars, and that’s what should be said of them,” Peskov told reporters.

The spokesman underlined that Russia “highly values” its relations with Turkey because Ankara takes “a very responsible, sovereign, and well thought out position on a whole range of regional and global issues”.

Earlier, Kılıçdaroğlu appealed to Russian citizens via Twitter. “Dear Russian Friends, you are behind the montages, conspiracies, Deep Fake content and tapes that were exposed in this country yesterday. If you want the continuation of our friendship after 15 May, get your hands off the Turkish state. We are still in favour of cooperation and friendship,” he tweeted.

The presidential hopeful posted the tweet after another opposition candidate, Muharrem İnce, quit the race over fake pictures and a sex tape. İnce also said he was bullied and targeted by a smear campaign.

Shortly before that, Erdoğan showed his supporters a video that first shows Kılıçdaroğlu calling on people to vote and then shows the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. The current leader of Turkey tried to use this video to prove the links between his key opponent and the organisation. Reporters analysed the video and concluded that it was fake.

Turkey is set to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on 14 May.

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