Turkish Opposition Warns on Risk of Violence If It Wins Election

(Bloomberg) -- The presidential candidate of a six-party Turkish opposition alliance urged citizens to stay indoors if he wins next week’s elections to avoid the risk of confrontation with “armed elements” loyal to the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Kemal Kilicdaroglu delivered the stark warning during an interview with KRT television late Thursday. It reflects the extent of polarization in Turkey’s society that’s only grown worse as the country’s broadest-ever alliance of opposition parties gears up for the tightly contested vote on May 14.

Kilicdaroglu, backed by the opposition bloc alongside the country’s main pro-Kurdish political movement, is facing a neck-to-neck race against Erdogan, Turkey’s longest-serving ruler who wants to extend his power into a third decade.

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“When we are victorious on the election night, all our citizens should stay indoors instead of rejoicing in the streets,” Kilicdaroglu said. “Some people might stir trouble, some people may be provoked, armed elements may take the streets.”

Kilicdaroglu also said the opposition has intelligence that suggests it may be targeted on social media with fake video or voice records.

“They can make negative propaganda by changing the sound and images,” Kilicdaroglu said. “We’ve learned that they’ve made agreements with some hackers from abroad and made payments in Bitcoin.”

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