Turkish nation, not West, will decide on fate of country, says president

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday criticized international media outlets that have recently tried to influence public opinion with articles on Trkiye's upcoming May 14 elections.

"What do all the magazines say on their covers? 'Erdogan must go.' (Those published) in Germany, France and England say so. What is it to you?

"How do you put these words on the covers of these magazines? It's not you, the West! It's my nation to decide on it," Erdogan said at an event in Istanbul.

His remarks came after British magazine The Economist targeted the Turkish president with a cover that said "Save democracy," "Erdogan must go," and "Vote!"

French Le Point and L'Express magazines also featured anti-Erdogan covers.

In Trkiye, the presidential and parliamentary elections will take place on May 14.

On the presidential ballot, voters will choose between Erdogan, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and candidate for the Nation Alliance, and Sinan Ogan of the ATA Alliance. Muharrem Ince, another presidential contender, withdrew from the race on Thursday.

- Claims on Russia's interference in looming Turkish elections

Regarding Kilicdaroglu's claims on Russia's meddling in upcoming elections, Erdogan said he began to taunt Russia.

"(Kilicdaroglu said) Russia is manipulating the elections in Trkiye. Shame on you!"

"If I say 'America is manipulating the elections in Trkiye, Germany is manipulating it, France is manipulating it, England is manipulating it', what would you (Kilicdaroglu) say?" he added.

The president said he is in contact with these countries for 20 years and asked Kilicdaroglu: "How many times have you come together with them? How do you know them?"

Kilicdaroglu on Thursday accused Russia of being behind video content allegedly discrediting candidates for the presidency in the upcoming elections.

"Dear Russian friends, you are behind the montages, conspiracies, deep fake content and tapes that were exposed in this country yesterday.

"If you want our friendship to continue after May 15, get your hands off the Turkish state. We are still in favor of cooperation and friendship," Kilicdaroglu said on Twitter.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday rejected accusations, saying there can be no question of any interference of Russia in the Turkish elections, and "those who spread such rumors are liars."

Russia values ties with Trkiye because it takes "a very responsible, sovereign and thoughtful position," he added.

Source: Anadolu Agency