Turkey’s diaspora in Europe has been split with large numbers voting in the run-off presidential election, with support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spreading to older communities among Europe’s 3.4 million eligible voters, while young people want change in Kemal Kilicdaroglu, The Guardian reported.
Kanso Yeni, who voted at the Turkish consulate in Berlin in Sunday’s second round of Turkey’s presidential election, said she and her country are facing a defining moment.
According to the British newspaper, Yeni, 32, is one of many young people who moved to the German capital from Istanbul five years ago as a reaction to the democratic decline under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The country has become a dictatorship,” she said. “My friends and I have suffered a lot.
Yeni is one of 3.4 million Turkish voters in Europe who are registered to vote abroad, the newspaper said. In the first round, the diaspora choice was clearly divided between larger and more established communities, which supported the current, smaller and newer societies, which chose the opposition unity candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
The continent’s two largest diaspora communities – Germany, with 1.5 million voters, France, with 400,000 voters – and other decades-old communities such as those in the Netherlands and Belgium voted in large numbers in favor of Erdogan.
According to the British newspaper, approximately 66% of Turkish voters in Germany supported Erdogan in France, the Netherlands and Belgium, which are also home to decades-old societies, corresponding figures were 64%, 68% and 72%.
“You live abroad, you’re not so touched by what’s happening in your country, and yet you feel closer to it than to the country you’ve adopted — the temptation is to vote for someone who defines your religious and national identity,” said Claire Couch, a French-Turkish writer.