Long queues Saturday morning at hotel Van der Valk in Eindhoven. Turkish Dutch people can vote again for the elections in Turkey. And that creates a queue of more than two hours. The atmosphere is friendly, but the tension surrounding the election is palpable and visible.
Security guards, police and detection gates are in place. Everything is being done to ensure that the Turkish elections in Eindhoven run smoothly. And that works this Saturday morning. However, the tension in the queue can clearly be felt, Omroep Brabant reports .
Turkish Dutch people who are waiting to vote do not dare to fully express their opinion. “I am going to vote for a good future for Turkey,” says one woman. But she does not want to say whether that is for or against the current president Erdogan. “You notice the differences, there is tension in the queue. Many people are afraid to give their opinion.”
Two weeks ago things got out of hand in Amsterdam. Just after the polls closed, a massive brawl broke out between supporters and opponents of the current president. Chairs flew through the air and people fought each other. Two were injured.
Unity of the country
Someone who dares to give her opinion is Arzum from Den Bosch. She came to Eindhoven with her son and is shocked when she sees the long queue. “I don’t know if I’m going to stand in that line, or if my son can keep it up. But I would like to vote and support Erdogan.”
According to Arzum, the current president deserves her vote because he is for unity of the country and because he helped the country well after the earthquake. And that’s why she’s still at the back of the queue.
Haydar from Weert has just voted. He hears that Arzum is for Erdogan and that is why he also wants to express his opinion. “We hope for changes and that is why these elections are very important.” It is immediately clear, Haydar is against Erdogan and for the opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. “Erdogan has been there for a very long time. For the economy and other problems in the country, it is time for a new president.”
What connects: Everyone in the queue only wants one thing, the best for Turkey and family who still live there. Haydar therefore thinks it is not surprising that he, as a resident of the Netherlands, will vote in the Turkish elections. “You feel connected to your country of origin. It’s only once every four years, that’s no problem.”
A woman in line agrees wholeheartedly. “We are all Turks and we have family in Turkey. And that’s why it’s worth standing in line for two hours. They don’t do that here in the Netherlands, it is usually not busy here.”
Translated by :Shanthi Ramani