Election deepfake falsely links Kemal Kilicdaroglu to PKK

Occurred: May 2023

Turkey presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu was falsely linked to the militant Kurdish organisation PKK using a manipulated deepfake video, prompting accusations of electoral interference.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed the video, which purportedly showed Kilicdaroglu giving way PKK founder Murat Karayilan, at a political rally. Research shows it had been manipulated by combining two separate videos with different backgrounds and content. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by the US, EU, and Turkey.

Kilicdaroglu responded by publicly accusing Russia of spreading deepfakes, including 'tapes that were exposed in this country yesterday.' The Kremlin denied the accusation. 

Earlier, Muharrem Ince, another Presidential candidate, withdrew after the release of an alleged sex tape, which he accused of being a deepfake designed to damage his reputation and campaign.

System 🤖

Campaign output 📣

Operator: Government of Turkey
Developer: Government of Russia
Country: Turkey
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Damage reputation
Technology: Mis/disinformation; Ethics
Issue: Deepfake - video; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Fact check 🚩

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: May 2023