Notorious Turkish mafia boss Alaattin Çakıcı has called on Turks to vote for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a runoff election to be held later this month, saying the nation needs him for another five years.
Turkey held presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday. According to the unofficial results of the presidential election, Erdoğan received 49.51 percent of the vote, while his main rival, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition party and the joint presidential candidate of an opposition alliance, garnered 44.88 percent.
A presidential runoff will be held on May 28 since none of the candidates were able to secure 50 percent of the vote plus one additional vote, a constitutional requirement for election to the position of president.
In a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday, Çakıcı called on people to foil the plans of “evil powers” in Turkey and abroad by electing Erdoğan for another term.
— Alaattin Çakıcı (@alattincakici) May 16, 2023
Çakıcı said he chose to remain silent during the campaign leading up to the May 14 elections to avoid possible criticism that could target Erdoğan and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Çakıcı is known for his ties to MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, an election ally of Erdoğan, and has been convicted of establishing and leading a criminal organization, ordering a murder, instigating an assault and insulting Erdoğan.
He said he voted for the first time in 21 years in this election and that as a person who has the right to vote, thinks he has a right to speak out about the political situation in the country.
Çakıcı praised Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) infrastructure projects, saying he was shocked to see freeways, tunnels, airports, bridges and municipals hospitals in every part of Turkey after he was released from prison.
Following Bahçeli’s call for a general amnesty, specifically citing Çakıcı, the mob boss was released on April 16, 2020 after serving 16 years of his decades-long sentence, as part of a law allowing for the release of tens of thousands of prisoners to ease overcrowding in Turkish jails during the coronavirus pandemic while excluding political prisoners convicted on terrorism charges
“… our country and nation need our head of state, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for another five years. It is important for him to complete his projects,” said Çakıcı, calling on people who respect him to vote for Erdoğan on May 28.