Why is Erdoğan so popular with the Turkish diaspora?
The Turkish diaspora in Europe voted overwhelmingly in favour of Erdoğan in the Turkish presidential elections. In many places he secured a far higher percentage of the vote than in Turkey itself. Commentators examine the reasons and ask how Ankara's influence can be curtailed.
Erdoğan's biggest fans live in the Netherlands
Relations between the Dutch and people of Turkish origin living in the Netherlands are particularly strained, De Telegraaf observes:
“The problem starts with the fact that they are cheering for a leader who is Islamising his country, fuelling anti-Western sentiment and openly seeking confrontation. Erdoğan referred to our nation as 'Nazi leftovers' and 'fascists' last year. ... According to Turkish state media he garnered 73 percent of the vote in the Netherlands. That's a far higher percentage than in Turkey (52 percent) and also higher than the levels of Turkish support for Erdoğan in other countries (60 percent). This is a new sign of segregation. Yet there is cause for hope. The vast majority of the 250,000 or so Dutch-Turks entitled to vote didn't go to the polls. This is a defeat for the long arm of Ankara.”
President promotes national pride
Voters living outside Turkey are actually a special focus of Erdoğan's nationalist policy, Journal 21 contends:
“Erdoğan explained long ago that for him democracy is simply a means to accomplish his political goal of making Turkey and the Turks great and proud. This explicitly includes Turks living abroad - many of whom have dual citizenship - whom he has brainwashed into thinking that assimilating to their new home country is 'a crime'. On this point too, a more moderate stance from the sultan is unlikely to be forthcoming.”
Immigrants' contribution not being acknowledged
Die Presse blames those who have worked to prevent the integration of the Turkish community for the high levels of support for Erdoğan in Austria:
“For the past five years Austrian politicians have avoided contact with this community, simply tolerating it rather than showing any interest. In the integration debate people often refer to the Turks as if they had plunged this country into catastrophe. Yet together with migrant workers from the former Yugoslavia they have made a substantial contribution to the wealth of the Second Republic. This deserves recognition, Erdoğan notwithstanding. And then we can start, with all due objectivity, to reduce Turkey's influence at long last.”
No false excuses,please!
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung finds the justifications for the way Turkish citizens in Germany voted incomprehensible:
“As usual in Germany, the appeasement machine has been instantly activated. Yet it was the Turkish community that dropped the bombshell in Germany ... : German politicians should reflect on their own part in a phenomenon that has led a group which has been living in Germany for decades to regard the head of another country as their leader. ... How are we to understand this? Should German parties set up a few tinpot dictators so that Turkish immigrants will finally feel at home here? Or should Germany propose a deal: We'll stop all the tedious talk about integration, loyalty, learning the language, dominant culture and respecting the constitution if you vote for a liberal politician in Turkey?”