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Anti-Putin Russians Claim Attack on Border Region of Belgorod; Moscow Court Extends WSJ Reporter's Pre-Trial Detention; Seven Arrested in Relation to Racist Abuse of Vinicius Jr.,; Super Typhoon Mawar Heads for U.S. Island of Guam; Far-Right Politician Sinan Ogan Received 5.2 Percent of Vote in Election; Third-Place Candidate Backs Erdogan in Runoff. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired May 23, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Well, this hour Russia reacting to a rare and brazen attack on its own soil in the Belgorod region. Two groups of anti-
Putin Russians are claiming responsibility for the attackers. Ukrainian officials denied any direct involvement.
Well, in Moscow a hearing for jailed Wall Street Journal Reporter Evan Gershkovich to decide whether he stays behind bars until his trial. 16
years after she disappeared police in Portugal are looking for new evidence in the case of Madeleine McCann. Investigators are searching around a dam
50 kilometers from where the little girl vanished.
And police in Spain have arrested seven people over racist abuse directed at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr., Spain's LA LIGA announcing today it is
trying to change the laws to better fight racism.
We begin with Russia responding to what it calls an act of sabotage on its own soil. Moscow claims it is now eliminated the fighters that carried out
Monday's raid in the Belgorod region just across the border from Ukraine. It says more than 70 of those fighters were killed and the rest were pushed
back into Ukrainian territory.
Well, the Kremlin refers the attackers as Ukrainians though Kyiv denies any involvement. Two groups of anti-Putin Russian nationals are actually
claiming responsibility. One Ukrainian official saying they are Russians who want to get rid of the darkness in their country. Let's start this part
of the show with CNN's Matthew Chance who has the details for you.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Russian forces insist that taking back control from a group of what they
call saboteurs infiltrating this leafy border these images purporting to show a Russian soldier detaining three of them with broadcasts on
Meet the anti-Kremlin Russians now taking the fight back home. This is how we work he says amid a bold armored raid across the Ukrainian border into
Russia itself. CNN can't independently verify any of the images. But this entire column of vehicles was spotted crossing the frontier. Ukrainian
forces insist it's not them but exiled Russian groups fighting against the Kremlin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are Russians just like you. We want our children to grow up and peace and are free so they can travel, study and be happy. But
this is not possible in Putin's Russia.
CHANCE (voice over): And the raid caught Russian border guards unawares. This one tried to be a hero, the narrator says amid the scattered passports
and a portrait of Vladimir Putin overlooking the carnage below. The border is now unlocked, says one of the fighters ramp up Putin will soon turn to
honey says the other in other words, die. On Kremlin controlled television the presenters stood like statues as the day's events replay videos from
stunned locals witnessing the fight.
The Kremlin called the attack a diversion. But already there's sharp criticism from Russian hardliners that this was allowed to occur. This
Russian region right next to Ukraine is no stranger to cross border attacks. But armed incursions like this are rare. And the mood here,
according to local Russian officials, has shifted with empty buses coming in to evacuate residents, while those who can a leaving by themselves.
Matthew Chance, CNN London.
ANDERSON: So tonight we ask what the significance of Belgorod is. What does this attack say about the wider conflict? Well, let's dig deeper with CNN's
Fred Pleitgen, who has been in Ukraine on and off over the past, what 18 months or so and certainly spent an awful lot of time in Russia, and
indeed, in Ukraine before the war began. It's good to have you to get your analysis on this. Let's start off with what you make of the Kremlin's
response to this armed incursion.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think Becky, for the Kremlin, it's extremely important to portray this as having
been something that was ordered by the Ukrainians.
You can tell that in all the statements from Dimitri Peskov, you can tell that from other Russian officials as well, like, for instance, the Defense
Ministry Spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, who's also calling the people that crossed the border, Ukrainian nationalists.
Now we know from them if they say that they are Russians, and they are fighting against Vladimir Putin. But for the Russians, it's very important
to keep up this message that they've been trying to put out that essentially, these are people who are sent by Ukraine, from the Ukrainians
to do the bidding of Ukraine.
And I thought one of the things that I heard earlier today by Demetri Peskov was extremely interesting, where he essentially used this incident
to try and justify Russia's wider invasion of Ukraine, this all-out war that's been going on here for such a very long time, where he said that all
of the shows that Russia is under attack by Ukraine, and that Russia needs to fight back with what it called a special military operation.
I think that's also one of the reasons why you're seeing these big denials coming from so many Ukrainians over the past 24 hours as well. I spoke to
the National Security Adviser earlier today. And he also said, look, we have absolutely nothing to do with this.
Yes, these Russians are fighting on our side in Ukraine. But what they do when they crossed the border into Russia is something that they do
independently. But I do think that for the Russians, it's extremely important to portray this as something that is not something an uprising or
something coming from inside Russia, but something that's being fomented by the Ukrainians, Becky.
ANDERSON: I want to take a wider look at this war. Before I do just, I mean, you've explained, you know, the Kremlin's response. Just how
significant has this attack been?
PLEITGEN: I think it's extremely significant. I think it shows that, at least to the Ukrainians, and certainly shows to many Russians as well, that
there are weaknesses, certainly in that border area. And I mean, one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that this border area is extremely
important to the Russians, the border area there in Belgorod.
It's right across from Kharkiv, which of course, is an extremely important Ukrainian city. But the Russians have tried to take several times in this
war and have failed so far. But if you look at the border area, and actually had the chance to spend a lot of time in that border area, right
when the war started.
There are a lot of Russian military bases there. And Belgorod itself is a city that is extremely militarized, that also has a lot of military bases
that are in that area as well, and from where the Russians are running a lot of their operations inside Ukraine.
So certainly, this is a big significance that in that highly militarized and very important area right on the border with Ukraine that these pro-
Russians or these Russians were able to get in there and also stay there for such an extended period of time.
And we're talking over 24 hours that this has now been going on. And the Russians just now just a couple of minutes ago, actually, before we went to
air have said that they are now ending what they call that counter terror operation that they've had going on there with the residents still not
being able to return home Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Look, we promised that we would talk about the wider conflict. Our Nic Robertson, our colleague is embedded at the front
line coming under fire with Ukrainian troops. I just want our viewers to get a sense of what he has been filing with regard is reports have a look
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): Barley out of the armored troop carrier incoming artillery.
ROBERTSON (on camera): We're just going to wait in this little basement until the shelling is over.
Then they think it'll be safe to move forward to the front positions.
ROBERTSON (voice over): A few minutes later, safe to come out at this army outpost a few miles from Bakhmut.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You too have at times been in the thick of it really getting a sense of how dangerous this war is. Just describe where you believe this
conflict is headed next?
PLEITGEN: Well, first of all, I think that it was exceptional reporting that Nic did there. And I think it really showed just how difficult the
situation is for the Ukrainians who are fighting there on the ground and some of the suffering by the Ukrainian troops that has been going on for
such a very long time there in Bakhmut.
One of the things that I think the Russians really are trying to play up is the significance of Bakhmut that day now, obviously control large parts of
the Ukrainian say they still have part of it. But it certainly doesn't appear as though Bakhmut is a strategic victory for the Russians.
Right now they seem to have most of that city, but that city is surrounded by high ground, so it's going to be very difficult for them to advance any
further. The big question is when will the Ukrainian start their larger counter offensive that so many people have been talking about?
They seem to have the weapons for that in place, the Western main battle tanks, the Western infantry fighting vehicles, a lot of Western artillery
as well, the big question are they trained up enough to not only use those weapons, but to use them in a combined way with one another for an attack
against some very well fortified Russian positions.
Now, earlier today, as I said, I was with the National Security Adviser of Ukraine, and he told me that they have a plan. They are working according
to their plan. But the final decision obviously will be made by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and of course, also some of his top
officers and generals as well.
It's unclear when exactly that is going to be. But certainly it's going to be an extremely tough fight. And on the whole at this point in time, I
would say, Becky, for the Russians, things are looking extremely difficult on the battlefield for while they might be able to hold some of the
positions that they currently have.
Right now, no one's really talking about larger Russian advances or Russian victories, and no one has been for a very long time. So that's certainly
something that must be cause of concern for a lot of Russians and certainly for the folks in the Kremlin as well, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, very good point. Fred, it's good to have you. Fred Pleitgen is reporting for you today from Ukraine. Thank you. Well, a Moscow court
has just extended the pretrial detention that the American journalist Evan Gershkovich.
The preceding was closed to the media, the Wall Street Journal Reporter is being held in Moscow's notorious Lefortovo prison charged with spying which
he denies and which his paper called a baseless claim. CNN's U.S. Security Correspondent Kylie Atwood is following the story for us and that news just
coming in, what more do we know at this point?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that this pre- trial extension is going to last through August 30th. That is, according to the news, just in from the court ruling on this, this is something that his
What it means, I believe is that Gershkovich isn't going to actually move to a different location while he is being kept in jail during this pre-
trial detention period. He's going to be in the same jail that he has been in.
But significantly, U.S. officials have not been able to visit him since he has been in that jail. Twice now the Russians have turned down the U.S.
request for consular access. That's really required by you know, international law and U.S. officials have been pushing to have access to
him while he is in jail.
What we're going to wait to learn a little bit more from this court hearing today is who was allowed into the room? |You were saying that this was
closed to the media. So we don't have any images from inside the courtroom like we had with a previous trial that he had.
But one thing that's important to see is just which diplomats were allowed, if any, because they have been turning down these requests for consular
access to U.S. diplomats. And significantly his parents actually arrived at the courtroom earlier today with his Russian lawyer.
Of course, that's very interesting, because our understanding is that, you know, these parents of his live in the United States, so they would have
had to travel over to Russia for this hearing. So that is a really fascinating development, something that we don't typically see for
wrongfully detained Americans as they're going through this Russian court, legal proceeding process because it can be dangerous for them.
You know, to travel over there while this process is ongoing, but of course they felt that it was important to be able to see their son today and we'll
look to learn more about you know what they say after that.
ANDERSON: Understood. It is quarter past 11 in New York. Thank you.
Ahead on this show, a new search in the disappearance of the British Toddler Madeleine McCann what a German prosecutors saying and not saying
about this latest investigation? And arrests today in Spain after repeated incidents of racial abuse directed at the Brazilian Football Star Vinicius
Jr., what he and other critics are calling a tepid response to racism in Spanish football? More on that is after this.
ANDERSON: Police are claiming in -- in Portugal in the latest investigation in the Madeleine McCann case. The British toddler vanished 17 years ago at
a resort 50 kilometers' away. This is not the first time this area has been searched. Today's activity comes after police received a tip. Scott McLean
has more on the investigation and the prolonged mystery surrounding Madeline's disappearance.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Madeleine McCann would have turned 20 this month. Her family last saw her when she was three. She
disappeared in 2007 during a family holiday in the Algarve region of Portugal. She was with her younger twin siblings while her parents were
dining with friends nearby in the resort of Pride Deluce (ph).
The mystery of her disappearance gripped many across the UK, Portugal and Germany. On Tuesday, Portuguese Police at the request of German authorities
will search a reservoir near the Portuguese City of Silves around 50 kilometers from Pride Deluce.
Over the past 16 years police have searched numerous wells and properties in the area, including this one, which was searched in 2008. It is unclear
whether it's connected to Christian Brueckner the German suspect first named in the case in 2020.
Brueckner a convicted sex offender lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007 in an apartment about a mile away from the resort where the McCann's
were staying. He's in prison in Germany for the rape of a 72-year-old woman committed in Portugal at the same resort. He has not been charged in
McCann's disappearance and denies any involvement. But one German prosecutor said he believes she was killed by Brueckner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What makes you so certain that Madeleine McCann is dead?
HANS CHRISTIAN WOLTERS, GERMAN PROSECUTOR: We have some evidence for this. We have no forensic evidence, but we have other evidence.
MCLEAN (voice over): Her family cling on to the hope that she could still be alive.
GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE MCCANN'S FATHER: No parent is going to give up on their child unless they know for certain the child is dead and that we just
don't have any evidence.
ANDERSON: That was Scott McLean reporting there. Scott the question is really whether or not there is any new and specific perhaps not new but
specific intelligence that has led to this latest part of the investigation?
I mean, it seems so long ago, we're thinking back to 2007 at this point.
MCLEAN: Yes, you have to wonder, Becky 16 years later, what could possibly be in this area that could be abused to this case? And you know why now
that they've decided to go and look there. According to Portuguese Police sources, they say that they're trying to find evidence of Christian
Brueckner. The suspect in this case is potential activities in that area.
But we're talking about a very vast scrub land surrounding a very vast reservoir; it seems like a needle in the haystack. They also have already
searched this particular reservoir back in 2008, just one year after this happened. And in that case, they recovered some bones, it turns out, they
were only animal bones.
And so now they're revisiting this site for reasons that we still don't have a clear answer as to why? The German prosecutor in this case said that
this is not in vain. He said that they are there on the basis of certain indications, but he couldn't say why? He couldn't say what they're looking
for, in particular, there?
And I should also point out that there are divers there are, there are boats on the site. But it seems like most of the searching at this stage of
the game Becky has been taking place on land around the reservoir. It seems like prosecutors in this case also have some amount of circumstantial
evidence, it seems that the physical evidence may be part of the difficulty.
Circumstantial evidence, like his cell phone being in the area at the time of this crime, the fact that he tried to reregister one of his vehicles
just a day later, and his story has changed as well. But under German law, the prosecutor has made clear that he needs to be able to convince a judge
in Germany, that in fact, he will be able to secure a conviction before he can even lay charges in this case, clearly, they haven't got there quite
ANDERSON: Anyone who's a parent than anybody you don't have to be a parent to understand what Madeline McCann's parents will have been through over
the last 16 years? Can we expect to hear anything further from them?
MCLEAN: I think that the last time this came up, they were happy that there was progress in this case. It's not clear whether they're going to speak in
this case, because they have already been through the wringer when it comes to media attention.
You'll remember back in 2007, that this there was an absurd amount of media attention around this case as you want and as you hope there is in any, in
the case of any missing child. There were early missteps by the police, they were accused of not securing the crime scene early enough.
They are accused of not putting roadblocks across the area for any potential suspect with the child to actually get out. And the Portuguese
Police ended up actually closing the case back in 2008, a year later. And there were for years, the only people that were actually investigating this
case actively were the McCann's themselves.
It seems like part of what has kept this going is the fact that David Cameron's government, the Former British Prime Minister, set aside a
certain amount of money, it's now more than $15 million to this point, to actually keep this case alive to keep investigating this case and it has
led us in part to where we are right now, with this naming of a suspect but still no charges, Becky.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. Thank you. Well, police in Spain have arrested seven people over alleged incidents of racist abuse directed at Real Madrid
Forward Vinicius Jr. Three of those arrests tied to the abuse held out the player in a match in Valencia over the weekend.
Repeated racist episodes of outrage the Brazilian star that accuses Spanish League LA LIGA, of belonging to racists the league announcing today it is
petitioning for a change in Spanish law to more effectively fight racism -- take a shoe but only story for us now from Valencia Atika.
ATIKA SHUBERT, JOURNALIST: Hi, Becky. Well, you know this has been a long going battle for Vinicius Jr., but the most recent incident happened here
in Valencia on Sunday, with a match against Real Madrid and Valencia, and it all unraveled in the final minutes of the match. It was very chaotic.
It wasn't clear what happened at first, but it became clear that Vinicius Jr. had complained that a number of Valencia fans were hurling racist abuse
at him. It escalated into a brawl between players and the referee actually sent Vinicius Jr., off the pitch.
He was given Red card and expelled and this caused really quite a bit of furor among Real Madrid fans a lot of controversy here in Valencia Real
Madrid complaining about the way Valencia fans conducted themselves at the match saying it disrupted the game.
Now today, police here are saying that three suspects have been arrested between the ages of 18 and 21. They were arrested at three different
locations. And they are suspected of hurling that racist abuse at Vinicius Jr., on the pitch and they are being investigated for a hate crime.
Now unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident in Spain. In fact, you know, the Real Madrid player has complained repeatedly on his social media
feeds about the treatment he receives from opposing fans throughout Spain, not just in Valencia.
And perhaps the most chilling incident happened in Madrid in January when an effigy was hung from a bridge with the jersey of the Real Madrid player
with his number on it, and it was widely shared on social media. Now that caused quite a stir earlier in the year.
But it was only today that national police actually arrested four people for that incident. According to police, they say these people were "Radical
members of a Madrid fan club" but didn't give much more information. I think a lot of people will be asking why it took so long to arrest them
The Spanish National Police say it's simply a matter of the investigation and the way it unfolded. But clearly things have come to a head here in
Spain, with Vinicius Jr., in particular saying that racism is rife and Spanish football and now we have LA LIGA saying that they are going to take
extra steps to try and counter racism whether or not that will be enough for the Real Madrid player we'll have to see Becky.
ANDERSON: Atika thank you. You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Up next, the potential catastrophe in the Pacific with a
super typhoon threatening to devastate U.S. Island territory of Guam and Turkey's President, incumbent president receives a major show of support
ahead of next week's runoff election how that is impacting the opposition's campaign that is just ahead.
ANDERSON: All right, you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Your headlines this hour, Moscow says it has eliminated the
fighters that crossed into Russia's Belgorod region carrying out a rare and brazen attack on Monday. It says more than 70 were killed and the others
they say have been pushed back into Ukrainian territory.
Moscow refers the fighters as Ukrainians although anti-Putin Russian nationals are claiming responsibility for the attack. Pretrial detention of
the American Journalists Evan Gershkovich will be extended until the end of August. The Moscow court made that decision just moments ago, the
proceeding was closed to the media. The Wall Street Journal Reporter is the first U.S. journalist since the cold war, to be detained on Russia in
Russia on spying charges which he denies.
Prince Harry's bosses legal challenge about paying fees UK security which was pulled after he stepped down as a working Royal. Earlier today,
London's high court denied his request to review the decision. UK's home office argued it was inappropriate for private citizens to pay for
protection from specialist police officers.
Mawar has grown to super typhoon strength it heads towards the U.S. territory of Guam. Forecasters warning these strong winds rainfall and the
storm surge pose a benchmark threat to the island that could be felt for decades. CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is tracking the typhoon. A
benchmark threat, just explain what that means and where that storm is right now?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Becky, what this means is that the triple threat that you just mentioned ago with a storm surge the flash flooding
and the devastating winds is that is going to cause what will be likely a memorable storm for the next several decades for the Island of Guam.
Just take a look at this impressive, visible satellite imagery. Now this was taken a few hours ago. But you can see straight through the eye all the
way to the bottom part of the Western Pacific Ocean that is called the stadium effect. Meteorologists look for that as a sign of how powerful the
storm actually is.
So here are the details. 155 miles per hour that makes this an equivalent to a high end category 4 Atlantic hurricane. It is teetering on a category
5 that is just impressive. If it crosses that category 5 threshold, it will make it the fifth category 5 hurricane or typhoon equivalent across the
planet and we on average have five in an entire year and it's the month of May right so that's impressive in its own right.
Now the eye is kind of filled in. We're going through what is called an "Eyewall Replacement Cycle", but you can clearly see it on radar. This is
Guam's radar. The storm is currently located about 130 miles to the south and east of the Andersen Air Force Base, which is on the Island of Guam.
And as we zoom in a little bit closer, you'll start to see that the outer rain bands already starting to lash the island here with strong winds,
heavy rainfall and of course the storm surge threat that is going to continue to build into the overnight hours.
By the way, the strongest part of the storm mid-morning on Wednesday, local time for Guam will coincide with high tide that will occur so that will
exacerbate the problems. Here is the latest winds you can see Andersen Air Force Base 25 miles per hour gusting to 40 miles per hour.
So here's the storm surge threat. This is not a typhoon. This is direct from the National Weather Service Guam's homepage 20 to 25 feet of coastal
storm surge right in those very vulnerable East facing shorelines depending on the exact track of where the storm goes.
Keep in mind this is a volcanic island. So not a lot of communities on the coastline but 20 to 25 feet that's impressive 6 to 10 elsewhere, that will
certainly inundate homes and businesses. On top of that part of this triple threat I mentioned earlier, is the inland flood threat.
We have the potential for 10 to 15 inches with locally higher amounts over the next three days. That's over 300 millimeters of rainfall. So the
potential here to lead to catastrophic flooding, landslides and mudslides does exist with the passage of this super typhoon.
So we've got two of the three threats that are facing Guam. What about the winds? The hobbyists, right? We don't want to forget that. Winds gusting on
Wednesday morning and into the afternoon hours over 115 miles per hour that is just impressive. That has the ability to take down any structures that
don't have any concrete reinforcement for instance.
And get this as the storm crosses Guam, it has the potential to reach Category Five status and then it's off to the races as it enters the
Western Pacific because water temperatures here are warm and they are like jet fuel for strengthening and maintaining typhoons or hurricanes of this
We have a storm that's going to maintain or if not slightly increase its strength going forward over the next five days. You can see the water
temperatures here. That is just impressive. So we have to watch out the Philippines into Taiwan. That is a future forecast but something that we
are going to monitor very closely here, Becky in the weather center for potential impacts into Southeast Asia going forward Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes absolutely. Derek thank you. Well, in Washington White House negotiators arrived at the Capitol a short time ago to resume one of their
high stakes debt ceiling talks.
Democrats and Republicans have until June 1st, that is not a long way away is it to reach a deal before the government runs out of cash to physically
pay its bills. That's nine days a week, U.S. President Joe Biden, the House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said their debt ceiling talks on Monday were
Let's bring in CNN's Matt Egan in New York. And to just underscore how important these negotiations are? Janet Yellen has warned that not being
able to pay its bills would be a catastrophe, a fiscal catastrophe, not just for the States, but the knock on would be really catastrophic around
the world. So just what sort of risk are we facing here?
MATT EGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, this really would be a global disaster if the U.S. somehow did the unthinkable here and defaulted on its
debt, because we got to remember that U.S. treasuries are kind of the cornerstone of like the global financial system, right?
And treasuries are looked at as among the safest assets on the planet. And so if you take that away, things could get messy very, very quickly. And so
that is why so many people on Wall Street and in Washington, they think this is going to get done.
As it does every time that eventually, unfortunately, you know, close to the last minute, Republicans and Democrats will reach a deal. You can see
the markets certainly no panic on Wall Street, the DOW is down 10 points. Even though you know this potential catastrophe could just be nine days
It's been pretty amazing Becky to see how totally chill investors have been about this. And I do think it's because a lot of people think that you
know, they've seen this movie before and they know how it's going to end or at least they think they know how it's going to end.
ANDERSON: Thank you, sir. Well, an investigation is underway after a moving truck crashed into a security barrier near the White House. Take a look at
this video posted on Twitter the secret services it happened in Monday night near NAT Lafayette Square just across the street from the White
House. No one was injured and the 19-year-old driver is facing multiple charges including threatening to kill or harm a President.
Well, a fake image most likely generated by AI made the rounds on social media on Monday creating quite the stir and quite some confusion. This
image showed what appeared to be an explosion near the United States Pentagon. There was no explosion and the building shown in that image is
certainly not the Pentagon. But it was enough to fool multiple social accounts and even some media outlets in India and Russia sharing that
Coming up on "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson, the defeated far right candidate in Turkey's election, through his support behind incumbent
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- as crucial to Erdogan's success in the run up. I'll speak to a member of the opposition party aware about where
its leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu goes from here.
ANDERSON: Turkey's incumbent president is getting a major boost ahead of the weekend's runoff election. Third place finisher, Sinan Ogan has
announced that he is backing the incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ogan received about 5 percent of the vote just over in the general election May
14 and his endorsement is certainly seen as critical in the runoff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SINAN OGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The national alliance failed to show sufficient success against the people's alliance, which has been in
power for 20 years. They also could not offer a perspective that would convince us about the future. And most importantly, they failed to secure
the parliamentary majority and overlook the stability factor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, going into the general election polls suggested that President Erdogan would lose his bid to extend his more than 20 year rule.
That would be suggestions by a small margin. But he ended up about five points ahead of his main challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the National
Alliance or the Nation Alliance.
Kilicdaroglu has tweeted on Monday after Ogan's announcement that his party is coming to save Turkey from terrorism and migrants without specifying who
he was referring to. He said it was clear who sides with those who sell out this beautiful country. Well, my exclusive interview with President Erdogan
last week, I asked him how important Sinan Ogan's support would be if he were to pledge it. This was everyone's response to me at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT: This is a concluded election. And after this election, it will be the people who will be the kingmaker. And
when the people decide, I believe they will stand with those who successfully served the Turkish nation for the last 21 years. On the one
hand, we have Erdogan; on the other hand, you have Kilicdaroglu. Indians, my people will choose stability and competence and they will cast their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, joining me now live with the opposition's perspective is Yunus Emre. He is a member of Kilicdaroglu's party and also a Member of
Parliament for Istanbul. It's good to have you, sir. Let's be quite clear. I conducted that interview with President Erdogan before he got the support
of the third candidate.
While Mr. Erdogan didn't seem too bothered at the time about getting Ogan's support, he now has it. Many observers both in Turkey and internationally
say that Erdogan at this point is likely to be reelected. So do you still genuinely believe that the opposition candidate stands a chance on Sunday?
YUNUS EMRE, TURKISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER, CHP: Yes, we have chance; I should say this as five percent of the total vote is important. So it matters. But
Sinan Ogan on or any other political figure does not have the capacity to control and direct all of these voters. OK. And in addition, in addition,
you know, Mr. Ogan, you know, does not have a political party and does not have any, you know, grassroots organizations.
Yes, Erdogan has direct media control. So he may direct or manipulate the voters, but his media institutions are not credible for the voters of Mr.
Ogan and in addition.
ANDERSON: So this is interesting, isn't it? Yes. Let me, let me just put this to you because it is clear that Mr. Ogan sort of campaign was based on
attracting sort of far right, ultra-nationalists is got an anti-Kurd position. He's from the MHP, the party that it is in alliance with
President Erdogan's party in government.
So without being able to necessarily control those who voted for him, they are most likely to be more allied with what we are hearing from President
Erdogan, will they not?
EMRE: I think they will not vote for Mr. Erdogan, because you know, the main characteristics of these voters are being anti-Erdogan, OK. And in
addition, Sinan Ogan was one of them. His entire carrier was constructed on anti-Erdoganism, OK.
And in addition, he's not a man of principles. Last week, he was your guests in this TV show, and you asked him, what will he do in the runoff
elections? He said, there will be many consultations, I will ask to my partners to my allies. He did not ask anyone, OK.
He did not consult. He in a press conference, he said that I will endorse Erdogan, OK. He is not that man of principle, I said. And also, I should
add one point, you know, that is an important Brazilian anti-government slogan, namely, you know, Lula is not the door to heaven, but he's
certainly the door out of the health, OK.
And Mr. Ogan in an interview, adopted this slogan, and he said, he said, I will shut the, you know, door to the health. OK. So this means, this means
that he will not support Erdogan, he will contribute to end the -- of Erdogan. But again, we saw that he said, I will end -- .
ANDERSON: It's fascinating to hear from you that that he didn't consult with the opposition candidate.
EMRE: Yes, he did not.
ANDERSON: Yes, no, no, you're absolutely right to point that out. You're absolutely right. And it is fascinating to hear that he didn't consult with
everybody. Ogan said in his speech that you heard earlier here on this show that the nation alliance, that is the alliance that your party has gotten
to dealt with, could not offer a perspective that would convince us about the future.
Looking back, could things have been done differently? Because at the end of the day, what he's pointing out is that he doesn't want to see a divided
presidency and parliament, you are a parliamentarian yourself. You've been elected reelected. But President Erdogan's Party and its alliance runs
EMRE: Yes. You know, the fight, we struggle for human rights, for democracy, for rule of law, OK. And it's, it's very obvious that the
executive presidentialism Erdogan established on democratic country. So, if the run-off elections, -- run-off elections, if Erdogan wins, we will see,
you know, the amalgamation of executive and legislative powers.
So we have a chance. OK, we have a chance for the division of political powers. If we win, so I absolutely believe in that we will win. There will
be division of political powers in Turkey. So we will have the executive power as I said, yes.
ANDERSON: Yes. And we discussed this at length during my programming from Turkey on election night and then through all of last week. Let me put this
to you. The opposition candidate, Kilicdaroglu, who is a member of the same party that you are, has really been veering to the right on some issues
particularly that of sending Syrian refugees back home.
That is coming across as somewhat desperate, in an attempt, it seems at least, and correct me if I'm wrong, to try and woo these nationalist anti-
immigrant voters. And it doesn't seem to be working at this point. Was it a mistake to put him up as the candidate against President Erdogan?
EMRE: Becky Anderson, we did not change our position, you know, there were many false accusations towards us, OK. So we started to, you know, reply
all these accusations. And in addition, in addition, Turkish electorate does not, you know, consider Turkey as a Middle Eastern country. OK. The
majority of Turkish people believe in that Turkey is a European country.
So the refugees, millions of refugees are considered or assessed by Turkish electorates as a process that makes Turkey a Middle Eastern country. So
it's a reaction to that. And also, we know this one day, we will have a political solution in Syria, and the return of displaced people to their
homeland is a part of this political solution. So when a couple of years --
ANDERSON: Send them all back, send them all back within two years is what the opposition candidate is saying. Do you agree with that?
EMRE: Yes, sure. And you also, notice we say this for 10 years. So we did not start to claim this after the first round of elections. OK. That's our
position for 10 years. So it's very quickly for us.
ANDERSON: Sir, it's good to have you. We'll have you back, please.
EMRE: It's my pleasure.
ANDERSON: It's an important time. Thank you. It's an important time these elections are coming up against second round runoff of course on Sunday.
Thank you, sir. Coming up, one Emirati anthropologist says she will change the lives of over 10 million people in the African nation of Chad. The
story of her expedition in the drying legs of the heat stricken country is up next, do stay with me.
ANDERSON: In tonight's parting shots, we look at water scarcity in Africa where UNICEF says more than 7 million young kids in Ethiopia and Kenya and
Somalia alone aren't malnourished and nearly 2 million are at risk of dying.
Well years of low rainfall have meant loss cattle and dry crops for many African countries, one of which is Chad, where all the photos you see
behind me come from. They were taken by an Emirati anthropologist who self- funded her expedition to the country with the aim of changing the lives of those impacted by climate change. Have a look at this.
NOURA AL NEYADI, ANTHROPOLOGIST AND PHOTOGRAPHER: I am Noura Al Neyadi, anthropologist and a visual storyteller. A year back exactly and COP27 that
happened, a Chadian lady came in front of the line and spoke about The Great Lake Chad being drained up almost 90 percent of it. And it was very
important for me to do an expedition trying to come closely with the locals and try to study those people.
And how was their life being affected with this crisis. I formed together a small team that will travel with me. And I spend 30 nights and my tent
trying to actually live in one location at a time with no internet completely disconnected from the world and just focused on my surrounding
and the souls I got to move throughout my journey.
I had a set of goals throughout this trip. One of these goals was trying to assess the situation and try to understand the effect and magnitude of
charity work on this particular country and try to come up with strategies to solve this.
Being an anthropologist, I had a set of tribes that was very important for me to find track down and find them live with them, to write down new
updated information and photograph them obviously. And I think up till the second, I would never stop feeling shocked how beautiful photography as a
tool to freeze moments and feelings.
I think Chad as a country is extremely beautiful. However, it was not fortunate to establish this dialogue with the rest of the world. This place
will always have a great place in my heart. And I hope to be back there again, maybe sometime in the future.
ANDERSON: She really is a remarkable woman. You're watching CNN. That's it from us, more up next.