Rotterdam bans foreign votes after Turkish elections

Inhabitants of the Dutch city of Rotterdam have been banned from casting votes for non-EU elections after wild celebrations from Turkish communities responding to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s victory in last weekend’s presidential election, BBC Türkçe reports.

Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) were the victors in both the presidential and parliamentary elections last Sunday, making Erdoğan the first president under a new executive presidential system. The majority of Dutch Turks who participated in the election cast votes for Erdoğan and the AKP.

Dutch Turks, the country’s largest ethnic minority group, took to the roads of Rotterdam in convoys to celebrate news of Erdoğan’s victory on Sunday evening, reportedly causing traffic chaos, setting off fireworks, and contravening traffic laws by sounding their car horns. Seventy were fined as a result of the evening’s celebrations.

The coalition government has responded by moving to outlaw the use of votes in Rotterdam for anyone who is not a citizen of a European Union country.

The Liberal (VVD) party, a part of the coalition ruling the Netherlands, stated that it was unacceptable that events in Turkey should negatively affect the people of Rotterdam.

VVD chairman Vincent Karremans said the Turkish government’s propaganda campaign for the previous election, last year’s constitutional referendum, had also negatively impacted Dutch citizens.