The United States government is cautious about commenting on Turkey’s elections to avoid any claims over American interference, an anonymous senior official told Politico’s NatSec Daily on Friday.
A senior US official, who was granted anonymity to discuss sensitive internal thinking according to Politico, said that the US administration did not want to signal its outcome preferences one way or the other.
“Last thing we would want is to give anyone fodder to claim American interference,” Politico quoted the official as saying.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, officials of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as well as the country’s pro-government media have for weeks claimed that the opposition has been supported by the West and will bow down to Western interests if elected.
Erdoğan, who has been ruling Turkey for 21 years, will face a close race on 14 May as Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the opposition’s presidential candidate has a very high change of winning the elections according to the majority of pollsters in the country.
“We’re going to let the Turkish people make their decision,” said John Kirby, the spokesman of US National Security Council, on Friday.
Washington obviously wants to see free and fair elections in Turkey, Kirby told reporters during a news conference.
Kirby’s comments followed the Monday statements of the US State Department’s deputy spokesman Vedant Patel.
“They won’t,” Patel said, when asked whether the election results will affect bilateral ties.
“We will continue to work together with whatever government is chosen by the Turkish people, and we’ll continuing to deepen those relationships, work on a number of areas of cooperation and shared priorities,” he said.