In Germany, the blues of the young anti-Erdogan Turks

Berlin, Wednesday May 24, early afternoon. For the second time in two weeks, Ozcan cycled for an hour to come and vote at the Turkish Consulate General for the second round of the presidential election, which is being held on Sunday May 28 in his country of origin. At his side, his friend Emre, also born in Istanbul, decided at the last minute to accompany him. “In the first round, I abstained and I was very angry. Second, I don’t want to make the same mistake. If Erdogan is re-elected, I want to be able to tell myself that it will not have been my fault”explains this art history student.

Aged 25, the two friends say they are interested “from afar to the news”. For Ozcan, however, it was “unthinkable” not to vote in the first round. Even if he does not see himself returning to Turkey, the idea that his country “become even more of a dictatorship with a new mandate from Erdogan” He is ” intolerable “. Emre is obviously agree ». But having chosen ” TO DO [sa] life in Europe »he found ” logic “ to no longer participate in the Turkish elections. “Already during the previous presidential [en 2018], I had not voted. This does not mean that I was happy that Erdogan was re-elected, but I no longer felt concerned. That’s what I told myself this year. I was mistaken. The result of the first round was a real shock. I thought of my family who is there. Even if we are not talking about politics, it is for her that I came to vote here today. »

Among their friends who live in Germany, Ozcan and Emre know some who decided to vote in the second round after having abstained in the first. For Turks living abroad, the ballot ended on Wednesday evening and the turnout was indeed a little higher than two weeks ago: in Germany, 761,000 voters made the trip, i.e. nearly 30,000 more than in the first round. Elsewhere, the trend is the same: in total, 1.74 million Turks voted abroad in the second round (53%), against 1.67 million in the first round (51%).

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For opponents of Erdogan, optimism was very relative

Among those who lined up – sometimes for hours – in front of the Turkish consulate in Berlin on Wednesday, all agreed to welcome this rising mobilization. But for opponents of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, optimism was very relative.

“So much the better if people use their ballot more, but what matters is the result. But on this, I have no illusions: here in Germany, Erdogan was still a hit in the first round.laments Meryem, a 32-year-old Berlin nurse from the Izmir region. “We always say that it is the people from Anatolia, who are poorly educated and come from labor immigration to Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, who worship Erdogan. The reality is more complicated: I myself know lots of people who have studied, who live in Berlin in fairly open circles and who, despite that, have decided to vote for Erdogan, always with the same arguments: c is a strong man, who has restored pride to Turkey and defends the country’s interests well”summarizes the young woman, who adds: “But I prefer not to talk too much about all this with some of my friends, because sometimes you discover things you didn’t expect in people you saw as great democrats without any nationalist leanings…”

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