Turks in Germany divided as voting begins in Erdogan referendum

Source: The Local

Turks in Germany divided as voting begins in Erdogan referendum
Turkish citizens line up to vote in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA.
Turkish voters in Germany, as deeply split as those in their ancestral homeland, started casting early ballots on Monday in a referendum that could vastly boost President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.

Hundreds of expatriates lined up at consulates in Germany, which has 1.4 million eligible Turkish voters, and in five other European countries ahead of the controversial April 16th plebiscite.

The vote sparked a bitter row when Germany and The Netherlands blocked campaign events by Turkish ministers earlier this month, leading a furious Erdogan to accuse both countries of using “Nazi” methods.

As in Turkey, the voters flocking to polling booths were divided on whether the proposal would help bring stable government or allow a strongman to impose one-man rule.

“I voted for democracy!” said one, Hussein Saregul, indicating that he had stamped the brown ballot paper for a “no” vote – not the white version for “yes”.

Saregul, who has lived for eight years in the eastern city of Dresden with his family, said he was sorry relations between Germany and Turkey had been so tense in recent weeks.

“We hope that the ‘no’ vote will prevail,” he said, adding that the referendum is only “in the interest of one man. It is a step towards dictatorship.”

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Categories: Asia, Turkey, Turks

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