Report: Iran to give Erdogan $25m. for re-election bid

Ahmadinejad strikes deal with Turkish PM amidst fears of Islamic reform among secular Turks, 'Daily Telegraph' reports; Turks deny deal exists.

September 15, 2010 13:04
1 minute read.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan voting

311_erdogan voting. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has completed a deal with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan under the terms of which Iran will transfer $25 million to Turkey's ruling AKP party, The Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday evening. According to the report, the money is to go towards Erdogan's bid to be re-elected to a third term in next year's general election.

The Turkish government denied that a deal with the Islamic Republic has been struck, saying they have not received any money from Iran.

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Erdogan announced his intention to run for an additional term last week after a referendum on constitutional reform he supported passed.

The referendum gives the government more power while weakening the judiciary, which has traditionally upheld Turkey's secular constitution. The government argues that the referendum increases Turkey's chances of being accepted into the European Union. Critics claim the referendum will allow Erdogan and the AKP to turn Turkey into an Islamic state.

The report quoted unnamed western diplomats as being alarmed by the possibility of such a deal.

"The agreement between the AKP and Iran is a very worrying development," said a diplomat. "It will increase the suspicions of many Turks that the government is deepening its ties with Islamic states.

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