May 20 2018

Erdoğan urged his Euro-Turk supporters to act in unity

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan advised Turks living in Europe to become citizens of the countries they are residing and called them to act in unity, during his pre-election rally in Sarajevo on Sunday.

“Definitely take the citizenships of countries you are living in. Don’t say no, take it. If they give it, take it. There is no problem in countries that allow dual citizenship. For those countries who have different practices, we created formulas to protect your rights in Turkey, such as blue card,” Erdoğan said.

As an example of countries with different practices, recently the Austrian Provincial Administrative Court approved the decision to cancel the Austrian citizenship of Turks holding dual citizenship. The issue of Turkish citizenship was cast into question in Austria during Turkey’s 2017 presidential referendum, where of the 95,000 Austria-based voters, 73 percent supported the push for constitutional change in Turkey.

Blue card is an official document provided to Turks living in abroad and has ceased to be Turkish citizens in order to simplify the procedures they need to apply in Turkey.

In his speech, Erdoğan explained other services provided to Turks living abroad by his Justice and Development Party (AKP). He also mentioned new opportunities for Turks living abroad such as weekend schools to learn Turkish, doubling up quotas for diaspora youth in Turkish universities, and simplification of public services. 

Erdoğan also promised to strengthen Turkish media in Europe, saying that the Turkish Press Advertisement Agency will provide financial support to Turkish media abroad through its advertisements. Another promise was to allow part-time working opportunities to those that are retirees in other countries.

“Today, if some European countries can demonstrate attitudes that sometimes reach to the degree of rudeness against me and our country, the reason for that is the disorganization of Turks in those countries,” Erdoğan said and called to act in unity.

Erdoğan advised his supporters to actively take part in political parties in countries where they reside so that Turks abroad can be represented by them, instead of “traitors”.