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Turks in Germany draw ire for celebrating Erdogan win

Chase Winter
June 25, 2018

Support for Erdogan was proportionally higher among the Turkish community in Germany than it was in Turkey. That, alongside celebrations in German cities after Erdogan won the election, has drawn criticism.

Deutschland - Reaktionen auf die Wahlen in der Türkei in Berlin
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken

German Turks celebrate Erdogan

Nearly two-thirds of votes cast by the Turkish community in Germany went to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sunday's election, far more than the support he averaged in Turkey, according to initial results.

Erdogan supporters waving Turkish flags and chanting slogans reportedly took to the streets in multiple Germany cities to celebrate after the authoritarian ruler claimed victory in the election on Sunday night.

In Berlin, hundreds of Erdogan supporters celebrated in Breitscheidplatz and honking motorcades cruised down Kurfürstendamm avenue. Calls of "Recep Erdogan, our leader" could be heard, local media reported.

German lawmaker and former Greens party co-leader Cem Özdemir, who is of Turkish origin, criticized celebrations in the streets of Berlin. 

Read more: Ankara mayor slams German Green party leader for 'treachery'

Turkey is a 'divided country'

"Let's face it: The celebrating German-Turkish Erdogan supporters not only celebrate their autocrat, but also express their rejection of our liberal democracy. Like the AfD. We must worry about this," he wrote on Twitter, referring to the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).

In Dortmund, a journalist shared a video of Erdogan supporters with Turkish flags shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) and slogans against the Kurdish militant group PKK.

Marco Bülow, a member of the Bundestag for Dortmund with the Social Democrats, wrote on Twitter: "Sorry, but that makes me sick."

In the western city of Cologne, numerous Erdogan supporters in a motorcade traveled along the Hohenzollernring waving Turkish flags and shooting fireworks.

The police temporarily closed the road and recorded several legal infractions, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper reported.

Erdogan supporters in Hamburg drive in a motorcade celebrating his presidential victory on Sunday.
Erdogan supporters in Hamburg drive in a motorcade celebrating his presidential victory on Sunday. Image: picture-alliance/dpa/K. Nietfeld

Erdogan more succesful in Germany than in Turkey

  • Erdogan had 65.7 percent of the vote in Germany with 80 percent of votes counted, compared to a projected 52.6 percent in Turkey. 
  • Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) had 56.3 support among the Turkish community in Germany, versus 42.5 percent in Turkey.
  • The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem Ince received 22 percent of the vote in Germany, compared to 31 percent in Turkey.
  • Germany's Kurdish Turks also appeared to use their right to vote. Imprisoned pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party candidate Selahattin Demirtas garnered about 9.5 of the vote in Germany, compared to 8.3 percent in Turkey. 
  • Around 475,000 people of Turkish origin cast votes in Germany, or about 43 percent of those who were eligible. 
  • In April 2017, more than 63 percent voted from Germany in favor of a referendum changing Turkey from a parliamentary to presidential system. In Turkey the level of support for the changes was 51 percent.

Read more: Why many Turks in Germany voted 'yes' in Erdogan's referendum

Voters in Istanbul pleased with Erdogan election victory

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