Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s main rival in the May 14 presidential election accused Russia of using deepfakes in the campaign on Thursday.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s allegations come hours after another candidate dropped out of the race after being the target of an online smear campaign. “Dear Russian friends“, Kilicdaroglu posted on Twitter,”You are the origin of the montages, conspiracies, fakes and recordings that emerged in this country yesterday“.
“If you want our friendship after May 15, don’t touch the Turkish government. We are always in favor of cooperation and friendship“, he wrote.
The secular opposition leader has a slight lead over Erdogan in Sunday’s presidential election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a second round will be held on May 28.
Third party candidate Muharram Ince withdrew. He announced his decision after being the target of an online smear campaign, which included fake pictures of him with women or driving luxury cars.
Polls indicate that most Ince voters (with 2-4% of polls) should go to Klikdaroglu.
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