Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday criticized Western media outlets that have recently tried to influence public opinion with headlines on elections in Türkiye.
“We have achieved most of our democratic gains in Türkiye by fighting with the headlines,” the Turkish leader said in a live interview with national broadcaster TRT Haber.
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He added the West does not like Türkiye because it has rooted out terrorism. “In the fight against terrorism we have always been left alone. We pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.”
The West also is disturbed by Türkiye’s improvement in defense industry, Erdogan said.
“Do they like Türkiye which is getting stronger in the defense industry? Of course they don’t like us. They won’t like us because we don’t buy weapons or ammunition from them anymore … My nation gave this answer to them on May 14. I hope that on May 28th, they will do it again,” he said.
“Have you heard discomfort from Azerbaijan, Qatar and Libya because of our efforts? No. When we look at those who are disturbed by our success, we can see more clearly who is friend and who is foe,” Erdogan added.
Millions of voters went to the polls on May 14 to elect the country’s president and its 600-seat parliament.
Erdogan’s People’s Alliance won a majority in parliament, while the presidential race is headed to a second-round runoff on May 28.
Erdogan will face Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and joint candidate for the six-party opposition Nation Alliance, in the runoff vote.
Erdogan finished the first round with 49.52% of the vote, while Kilicdaroglu came second at 44.88%, and Sinan Ogan of the ATA (Ancestral) Alliance got 5.17%.
Ogan on Monday endorsed Erdogan for the runoff, saying: “We believe that our decision is the right decision for our country and nation.”
Erdogan thanked Ogan for his support. “Ogan knows very well our clear stance on the fight against terrorism, relations with the Turkic world, and the survival of our homeland. We have not made the slightest concession on these issues.”