Some international observers pointed to the publicized use of seeming bribery as an example of corruption, whereas others merely acknowledged Erdoğan’s apparent shamelessness.
Erdogan hands out cash to kids before casting his vote, appearing to violate Turkish law, which bars candidates from campaigning on election day: pic.twitter.com/dm1dHMiCgB— David Lepeska (@dlepeska) May 14, 2023
This isn’t the worst of it. Just the most brazen.— rohan (@rohan10) May 28, 2023
One Twitter user provided a more innocent possible explanation — suggesting the Islamist leader was merely handing out money to children in what would amount to a local custom in Turkey.
Finally an honest politician.— Live Free Logic (@LiveFreeLogic) May 28, 2023
Erdogan has been a political power in Turkey for two decades, serving as mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998, prime minister from 2003 to 2014, and president of the country since 2014. He has cooled the country’s relationship with the United States and NATO, as well as moved to turn what had long been a secular state into an Islamist society. In 2020, Erdoğan orchestrated the conversion of the historic Hagia Sophia — originally built in the 6th century as one of the world’s most important Christian churches — from the museum it had been since 1934 back into a mosque. [firefly_poll] The move was widely viewed as an aggressive statement against the Western world. In the United States, President Joe Biden issued a Twitter statement congratulating Erdogan on his win on Sunday, saying the leaders would “work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges.”
I am no fan of Erdogan. But if you notice he is handing it out only to children. As he has done in many other times in the past and is customary in Turkey to give “pocket money” to celebrate certain occasions.— Lefteris Karapetsas | Hiring for @rotkiapp (@LefterisJP) May 28, 2023
Erdoğan, leader of the Justice and Development Party, defeated secular opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu with 52.14 percent of the vote to 47.86 percent, according to NPR. It was the biggest challenge of Erdogan’s political career, NPR reported. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Congratulations to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Türkiye on his re-election.I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges. — President Biden (@POTUS) May 28, 2023