Turkish presidential candidate Muharrem Ince withdrew from the race after an alleged sex tape circulated online. Ince claims it’s a deepfake using footage taken from “an Israeli porn site.” The Guardian reports: Ince, a two-time presidential candidate who also lost to Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2018, pulled his candidacy just days away from Turkey’s most consequential election in a generation saying: “I offered Turkey a third option, a third way. We couldn’t succeed with this way.”

The former school headteacher and longtime member of the Republican People’s party (CHP) said an alleged sex tape circulating online was a deepfake, using footage taken from “an Israeli porn site.” He added: “If I had such images of myself, they were taken secretly in the past. But I do not have such an image, no such sound recording. This is not my private life, it’s slander. It’s not real.”

The high-profile deployment of deepfake videos has already hit Turkey’s 45-day election cycle, after Erdogan played an alleged deepfake that claimed to show banned Kurdish militants declaring their support for Kilicdaroglu at a pre-election rally last weekend. “What I have seen in these last 45 days, I have not seen in 45 years,” said Ince.

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