President Recep Tayyip Erdoan stated in an exclusive interview with CNN International that will be shown in full later on Friday that he thinks the public will not let him down in the second round of the presidential election on May 28.
During the May 14 elections, the president received over half of the votes cast against his major competitor Kemal Klçdarolu. He talked to CNN’s Becky Anderson at Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul. He praised the first-round turnout, which reached over 90%. “I believe my nation will not prove me wrong in the run-off as well,” he added, expressing optimism over a large turnout.
Answering a question on U.S. President Joe Biden, who described him as an autocrat during his own election campaign, Erdoğan said no autocrat would “go for runoff.”
“Our People’s Alliance will have 322 lawmakers in the (600-seat) Parliament and the person leading it will compete in the runoff. Is this dictatorship?” Erdoğan said. The president added that he would “undoubtedly work with Biden” if he wins the second round of elections. “I am also ready to work with Biden’s successor,” he said.
In response to a query regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Erdoan stated that the West does not adopt a balanced approach to the subject. “A balanced policy towards Russia would be preferable.” The West should have strengthened its ties with Mr. Putin in the same way that I did. Countries require one another. I meet with leaders of Western nations in the same way that I meet with Mr. Putin. Similarly, we aided in meeting the demands of both Western and African countries via the Black Sea grain corridor. “We were only able to extend the grain deal for another two months because of our personal ties with Mr. Putin,” he explained.
He contended that a more balanced approach to a country like Russia would have been preferable. He emphasised the need of global collaboration and his excellent relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, implying that the West should take a same approach.
Erdoan also noted the Black Sea Grain Initiative, in which Turkey satisfies the demands of both Western and African nations, emphasising the expansion of grain processes with Russia as a result of his particular connection with Putin.
Erdoan stated that the opposition in Turkey is pushing for the wholesale expulsion of Syrian migrants, and that “it is impossible to agree with that.”
“However, I can tell you that Turkish non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are now doing serious reconstruction work in northern Syria.” They’re constructing homes. “These houses are being built so that Syrians in Turkey can return home,” he explained.
“We’re taking another step now.” In reality, we have planned certain house construction projects in Syria in preparation for the return of approximately 1 million refugees to their homes. These are some really great crafts. We will ensure that Syrian refugees return to their home nations and territories in collaboration with these programmes,” he continued.
In response to a query on resuming relations with Syrian government leader Bashar Assad, Erdoan stated, “I’ve made some remarks on this.” I had a relationship with the Assads. We used to get together as a family. We were in a similar situation. Unfortunately, our intimate relationships were strained as a result of later events. This break bothered us.”
“(Through) my friendship with President Putin, we hoped to open a door, particularly in our fight against terrorism in northern Syria, which necessitates close cooperation and solidarity.” If we can achieve that, I believe there will be no obstacles to our reunion,” he continued.
When questioned about Assad’s demand that Turkey remove its soldiers from Syria for a meeting, Erdoan stated, “We have over 900 kilometres (559 miles) of border, and there is a constant terror threat from those borders on our country.” We have a military presence on the border just to combat terrorism. That is the only explanation.”
Erdoan stated that Turkey will not leave Syria since “the terror threat continues.”
Erdoan’s People’s Alliance gained a parliamentary majority, and the presidential election will go to a second round on May 28.
In the first round, conducted on May 14, no candidate received an outright majority, despite Erdoan’s advantage.
In the runoff voting, Erdoan will face Kemal Klçdarolu, the head of the major opposition CHP and a joint candidate for the six-party opposition Nation Alliance.