By: Anadolu agency
‘We have achieved most of our democratic gains in Türkiye by fighting with headlines,’ says Recep Tayyip Erdogan
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.
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.”
Return of Syrian refugees
Turning to voluntarily return of Syrian refugees, Erdogan said: “We have already supported the safe and voluntary return of refugees from the very beginning. So far, nearly 560,000 refugees have returned to areas cleared of terrorism. This number will increase as terrorist organizations are wiped out in Syria.”
The president assured that Türkiye’s borders are equipped with the most recent technologies for safety. “Türkiye’s borders are safer than ever before,” he said.
More than 3.7 million Syrians currently reside in Türkiye, making it the world’s top refugee-hosting country.
Following the start of a bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Türkiye adopted an “open-door” policy for Syrians fleeing persecution and brutality.
Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN estimates.