Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu (of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party/AKP) on Friday charged that the United States is meddling in the country’s elections, set to take place Sunday. The national election is shaping up to be the biggest challenge to President Erdogan’s grip on power in years.
“The United States is meddling in these elections… Everyone in this country already knows this, US President [Joe Biden] himself declares this. The attack on [presidential candidate of Turkiye and leader of the Memleket party] Muharrem Ince… it is clear where it came from, it is clear where it was coordinated. This is America. In recent days, Biden has stepped up his people in Turkiye,” Soylu said in an interview, as translated in regional media.
He further charged that Washington’s efforts of trying to subjugate Ankara have failed. “Turkey has a clear position in its foreign policy. The US says ‘Come and obey me.’ We obey the Turkish interests,” Soylu said.
“I am among the most exposed to attacks and insults, and a big part of them comes from foreign accounts,” he explained, while also saying the government is taking extra precautions to defend against cyberattacks.
Soylu’s reference is to Muharrem Ince, whose pullout is being widely seen as a huge boost to Erdogan’s main challenger, the CHP’s Kemal Kilicdaroglu.