Balkan leaders endorse Erdoğan in Turkish election 2023

Balkan politicians praised President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and urged Turkish people to support him in May 14 elections.

“Türkiye needs Erdoğan and so do the Bosnians,” wrote Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Party of Democratic Action (PDA) president Bakir Izetbegovic last week.

Izetbegovic called the impending referendum a “historic turning point” for Türkiye, calling Erdoğan a “powerful actor in international relations.”

“Erdoğan always fraternally and genuinely stands up for Bosnians and Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Izetbegovic stated.

“I believe you are aware of Erdoğan’s magnificent role in Türkiye’s resurrection and ascent in every field,” he told “a majority of Turkish people”. The fraternal Turkish state and people have built democracy, self-confidence, and a values system that ensures long-term growth under his leadership.

Izetbegovic called the Turkish economy’s rapid infrastructural and industrial expansion, educational reforms, and military sector “a testament to that advance.”

Türkiye’s rise has inspired Muslims to reassert their values and independence.

He commended Erdoğan’s capacity to cooperate and make friends with all Balkan states.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosnians in Sanjak are witnesses to Erdoğan’s friendship and Türkiye’s support and assistance. He urged Bosnians to vote and support Erdoğan.

Following Izetbegovic, North Macedonian Alternative Party leader Afrim Gashi said Türkiye had “achieved incredible things in the two decades and Albanians living in the Balkans have benefited from this progress, too.”

In a video message, he called on Turkish people and Albanians in Türkiye to support the Turkish state’s approach to our nation, support Türkiye, and elect current President Erdoğan again.

Parliament Deputy Speaker Hüsnü Ismail, a North Macedonian politician, praised Erdoğan’s “unprecedented progress” in education, health care, military, technology, and foreign policy.

“We’re grateful to Türkiye for its support to Balkan countries, Kosovo in its independence war, and Albanians during the construction of the Albanian republic,” Ismail said.

He asked Albanian-Turkish nationals to vote for Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) because of his “sincere fraternal lawfulness toward Albanians worldwide.”

Skender Rexhepi, an independent North Macedonian MP, highlighted Türkiye’s strategic alliance with Balkan states and the May 14 vote’s influence on the Balkans.

Through TIKA, the Turkish government has invested in infrastructure, education, culture, religion, and spiritual legacy. “Türkiye has been an exemplary nation throughout the 21 years of the AK Party administration for contributing to the welfare of both its own citizens and people of fraternal nations,” Rexhepi said.

To make history and cement Türkiye’s golden century, I urge all Turkish citizens to support Erdoğan and AK Party in this election.

Erdoğan, Kılıçdaroğlu, and two minor contenders are in the running.

In a video tribute this week, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said Erdoğan “turned the world’s eyes to Türkiye’s wonderful and exemplary transformation” “with his vision, courage, will, and tireless work.”

Rama noted that Türkiye’s commendable strength and rise beautifies Türkiye and its people but also piques curiosity about the great difficulties and strong challenges related to the formation, maintenance, and integrity of legitimate institutions and even President Erdoğan’s life.

“I wholeheartedly hope voters consider Türkiye’s indispensable role in their choices in the fragile balances of this difficult period for the Balkans and all of Europe,” he said.

Many Balkan nations help Türkiye after natural calamities. When Feb. 6 earthquakes killed hundreds in southeast Türkiye, many sent condolences and help.

In four days, 61 million registered voters, including 5 million first-timers, will pick Türkiye’s 13th president and 600 MPs.

Kılıçdaroğlu trailed Erdoğan by nearly four points in polls.

Analysts believe Türkiye’s most important vote in generations.

On Tuesday’s final day of overseas voting, official turnout surpassed 51%, slightly higher than in Erdoğan’s 2018 general election.

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