In his latest appearance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slams US President Joe Biden for calling him an “autocrat” in his 2020 campaign for the White House.
Ahead of next week’s presidential election runoff, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan touched on several files, most notably the elections and Turkey’s foreign policy in an interview for CNN.
A couple of days ago, the results of the counted ballots in Turkey showed that Erdogan was in the lead in the presidential race, mainly against Kilicdaroglu, but with a percentage of votes insufficient to declare him as president from the first round.
During the course of the interview, Erdogan slammed US President Joe Biden for calling him an “autocrat” in his 2020 campaign for the White House. “Would a dictator ever enter a runoff election?” Erdogan argued.
Erdogan hailed a “special relationship” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, stressing, “We are not at a point where we would impose sanctions on Russia like the West have done. We are not bound by the West’s sanctions.”
“We are a strong state and we have a positive relationship with Russia,” he tersely stated.
“Russia and Turkey need each other in every field possible,” he added.
On Sweden’s accession to NATO, the Turkish leader said, “As long as Sweden continues to allow the offshoots of terror groups in Turkey to roam free in Sweden, in the streets of Stockholm, we cannot look favorably on Sweden’s membership in NATO.”
Regarding the Turkish normalization of relations with Syria, Erdogan said: “(Through) my friendship with President Putin, we thought we could open a door, specifically in our fight against terrorism in the northern part of Syria, which requires close cooperation and solidarity.”
“If we can do that, I said I see no obstacle that would remain in the way of our reconciliation,” he said.
Turkish elections: A new experience for democracy
Erdogan expressed optimism regarding the ongoing presidential race. “This is a new experience for Turkish democracy. I believe my people will turn up for a strong democracy in next Sunday’s elections,” he said.
“Stability and confidence are very important and people who look for stability will do what is necessary at the polls,” he added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Erdogan rejected opposition proposals for a comprehensive deportation of Syrian refugees, instead saying he will “encourage” nearly a million refugees to return to Syria.
Although President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was unable to secure the win in the first round, marking the country’s first-ever run-off, which Turkey’s Supreme Elections Council scheduled for May 28, Erdogan believed that the election marked a victory for “Turkish democracy and the Turkish Nation.”
Erdogan expressed confidence in emerging victorious in the next round of presidential elections after falling less than half of a percent short as counting was finalized.
The leader of the Justice and Development Party pointed to the 27 million votes he received saying that the Turkish people showed “great favor” toward his political party, adding that they “gave the majority in the Turkish Grand National Assembly to the People’s Alliance, confirming that they trust us and our Alliance.”