The Hungarian prime minister said Kemal Kilicdaroglu would have allowed millions of refugees into Europe
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban described the election victory of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu as a "huge relief" in a radio broadcast on Friday.
"If Erdogan had not won, Soros' man would have opened the borders to immigrants," Orban claimed, referring to Kilicdaroglu as an agent of billionaire currency speculator and funder of liberal causes George Soros. Had he won, up to 3 million of the 4 million refugees living in Türkiye would be flooding the Hungarian border by the end of the summer, Orban presumed.
"I didn't just root for him, I prayed specifically for President Erdogan's victory," Orban continued. "It would have been a tragedy if he had not won."
The prime minister argued that unlike Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu would have been a pro-war leader, potentially disrupting Russian gas supplies to Hungary and Serbia. Hungary receives the vast majority of its natural gas from Russia via the TurkStream pipeline, which carries gas from Russia to Southern Europe through Türkiye. Budapest has repeatedly blocked EU efforts to impose an embargo on Russian gas to punish Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine.
Orban stressed the importance of convincing Ukraine and Russia "that a ceasefire is needed and that peace talks are necessary," lamenting that "the vast majority in the EU is against us, they are at our throats." He predicted a "bloodbath" if Kiev were to go ahead with its planned counteroffensive, pointing out that the odds were not on the Ukrainians' side.
Erdogan officially won reelection on Sunday following a runoff vote, entering his third term with support from 52.14% of the electorate, according to Türkiye's Supreme Election Council.
While Kilicdaroglu ran on a globalist platform of restarting EU accession talks, improving relations with the country's NATO allies, and rolling back many of Erdogan's domestic reforms, he took a more forceful stance against open borders during the runoff, promising to send refugees back to their home countries. Erdogan consistently portrayed his opponent as hostile to traditional values, pro-terrorist, and pro-LGBT.