Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey and presidential candidate of the People's Alliance, gestures in front of supporters at the presidential palace in Ankara. © Ali Unal/AP
Thousands of Erdogan supporters in North Rhine-Westphalia have celebrated the Turkish president's election victory. In some city centres, traffic came to a standstill. Most of the time it remained peaceful, but not everywhere.
Duisburg/Dortmund - After the success of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the presidential election in Turkey, thousands of supporters in North Rhine-Westphalia have loudly celebrated his victory. In many cities, there were motorcades on Sunday evening, people celebrated on streets and squares, and traffic in the city centers came to a partial standstill. The police were deployed with strong forces. In Dortmund, among other places, there were clashes between Erdogan supporters and emergency services.
According to the Dortmund police, there were criminal charges, administrative offenses, fines and 82 expulsions for Erdogan supporters. A participant in a motorcade attacked a police officer, whereupon the officer used his baton. In addition, emergency services had secured illegal pyrotechnics from the celebrants.
Several streets and the Borsigplatz in the city center were temporarily blocked by motorcades and celebrating people. Motorists had driven "incessantly honking and with loudly roaring engines through the city center," wrote the police. Numerous citizens had complained about the noise. The officers were on duty on Sunday evening until 2:00 a.m.
In Duisburg, especially in the north of the city, where many people of Turkish origin live, there were motorcades and long traffic jams. "There are a lot of people on the road. There is a certain joyful excitement," said a spokesman for the Duisburg police. About 5000,<> people also walked through the districts of Hamborn and Marxloh in a spontaneous demonstration procession. According to the officers, they only had to intervene a few times when fireworks were set off in the crowd.
In Krefeld, there was an operation because shots were fired from a blank gun during a parade with several hundred cars. In Gelsenkirchen, according to police, about 1000,<> people were on the streets, in many other cities, the forces spoke of a few hundred celebrants. However, there were no major incidents, the police reported in Cologne and Essen, among other places.
In the run-off election for the Turkish presidency, Erdogan won by a narrow majority, but won about a two-thirds majority among the approximately 1.5 million eligible voters in Germany. Especially in the Ruhr area, Erdogan has recently had strong support among eligible voters.
Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) criticized the celebrations and motorcades as well as the voting behavior of Turks living in Germany. They would not have to answer for the consequences of this election, but many people in Turkey would have to do so due to "poverty and lack of freedom". Dpa