In Germany, Erdogan won 67 percent of the vote. © imago stock&people via www.imago-images.de
Half a million German Turks voted for Erdogan. Voting behaviour is a cause for concern. The Union criticises the reform of the citizenship law.
Düsseldorf/Berlin – Serkan Sayin lives in Westphalia, far away from Turkey – and yet the election result is very close to his heart. The 51-year-old is disappointed, perplexed, and above all does not understand the renewed high popularity for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan among Turks abroad. In Germany, the incumbent won 67 percent of the vote – a total of 52 percent in the run-off election. "I don't get it. The people who live freely in a democracy here are forcing the people of Turkey to suffer under an autocracy," says Sayin from Ahlen.
Concern about greater division among German-Turks after Turkish election
However, the 67 percent of the vote does not mean that two-thirds of all people of Turkish origin nationwide support Erdogan. Sayin, for example, decided to become a German citizen a good 20 years ago and is not eligible to vote without a Turkish passport.
He says: "It is the wrong way for people to have a say in the political situation in Turkey, even though they live and work in other countries." He fears that the rift between supporters and critics of Erdogan in this country is deepening. In fact, there is a celebratory mood on the one hand, there were motorcades, loud cheers. Elsewhere, there is great frustration and concern among German-Turks.
Controversy over new citizenship law
The Union sees the jubilee celebrations as confirmation of its rejection of the planned new citizenship law. The parliamentary secretary of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Thorsten Frei, said: "The plans of Interior Minister Nancy Faeser increase the risk that more people will be naturalized who are not sufficiently integrated." Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann has also called for a rethink of dual citizenship.
"The hypocrisy expressed here on the part of the Greens is intolerable," said the CSU politician. On the one hand, Green politicians such as Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir criticized the voting behavior of Turks in Germany. At the same time, however, they ensured through the planned reform "that dual citizenships will increase and that in the future many naturalized citizens will enjoy the dual right to vote: once Erdogan in the home country and Özdemir in the Bundestag elections".
500,000 German Turks voted for Erdogan
The German government recently agreed on a new citizenship law. The core is shorter minimum stays for naturalizations – instead of eight years, five years should be enough, and only three in the case of special integration services.
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However, the traffic light factions see no reason to shake the planned reform. Lamya Kaddor, an expert on internal affairs for the Greens, described the "high election result of just under 65 percent for Erdogan among the German-Turks difficult for the Turkish opposition, but also for the Turkish diaspora, to bear." But only half of the 3.5 million Germans with a Turkish migration background are eligible to vote – and only one in two ultimately went to the polls.
More than 500,000 German-Turks voted for Erdogan. The Turkish Community in Germany (TDG) also makes it clear that this is only about 17 percent – based on three million people of Turkish origin. Yunus Ulusoy of the Center for Turkish Studies says: "We don't know what makes the others tick who didn't vote or who are not eligible to vote." (Yuriko Wahl-Immel)