Viewers shocked by what foreign president was caught doing

The conduct of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan outside a polling place has the Islamist leader’s critics accusing him of naked bribery.

Erdoğan was captured on video handing out cash money in Istanbul on Sunday.

The Turkish leader was re-elected to another five-year term the same day.

In the clip, Erdoğan was shown handing out 200 lira banknotes, according to the U.K. Guardian.

The bills would exchange for approximately $10.

It’s not the first time the politician has used the tactic.

Erdoğan was recorded handing out money earlier this month, on election day for the first round of the Turkish presidential election. Erdogan failed to win a majority in that election, forcing Sunday’s runoff.

Some international observers pointed to the publicized use of seeming bribery as an example of corruption, whereas others merely acknowledged Erdoğan’s apparent shamelessness.

One Twitter user provided a more innocent possible explanation — suggesting the Islamist leader was merely handing out money to children in what would amount to a local custom in Turkey.

Erdogan has been a political power in Turkey for two decades, serving as mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998, prime minister from 2003 to 2014, and president of the country since 2014.

He has cooled the country’s relationship with the United States and NATO, as well as moved to turn what had long been a secular state into an Islamist society.

In 2020, Erdoğan orchestrated the conversion of the historic Hagia Sophia — originally built in the 6th century as one of the world’s most important Christian churches — from the museum it had been since 1934 back into a mosque.

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The move was widely viewed as an aggressive statement against the Western world.

In the United States, President Joe Biden issued a Twitter statement congratulating Erdogan on his win on Sunday, saying the leaders would “work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges.”

Erdoğan, leader of the Justice and Development Party, defeated secular opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu with 52.14 percent of the vote to 47.86 percent, according to NPR. It was the biggest challenge of Erdogan’s political career, NPR reported.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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