Skip to main content

Turkey’s opposition warns against deepfakes ahead of fateful elections

As the presidential race heats up in the lead-up to Turkey's consequential elections, the country’s main opposition party accuses the government of plotting a cyberwar against Erdogan’s top rival.
 Leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and the presidential candidate of the Main Opposition alliance, speaks to supporters at a rally while campaigning for the presidential election on April 30, 2023 in Izmir, Turkey. CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu is holding campaign rallies across Turkey ahead of the countries May 14, 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections. The Kilicdaroglu-led Nation Alliance is representing six opposition parties in next month's election against Presi

ANKARA — With just 12 days to go until Turkey’s fateful elections and as polls give a knife-edge lead to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s top rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the country’s main opposition suggested on Tuesday that the ruling party was planning to try to sway the vote through deepfake audios. 

Speaking in an exclusive interview with private HaberTurk television, deputy chairman of the main opposition Ozgur Ozel said they received a tip that government officials were in talks with individuals on the dark web to release some deepfake audios ahead of elections. “Some preparations are underway. … We have received a tip [in regard] to the production of deepfake audios and dissemination of these fake audios through the dark web,” he said.

Ozel’s remarks followed a cryptic midnight warning by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who accused Erdogan’s communications czar, Fahrettin Altun, and three of his staff members of trying to strike deals on the dark web. 

“Only 2 days left until the 10 final days. Let me issue my final warning,” the main opposition leader tweeted. “The dark web world which you are trying to strike a deal with will lead you to fall into the hands of foreign intelligence. Pulling a Cambridge Analytica is beyond your capacity boys! This is my final warning.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.