Voting continues in Germany, Austria and France which are the three countries with the biggest number of voters abroad for the elections to be held in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan on June 24. It has come to light that during this time, letters signed by Turkish President and AKP Leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were sent to Turkish citizens living in Germany to sway their votes.
According to ANF’s own research, the letters were sent to everybody who ever had any business with Turkish consulates in Germany, to register addresses or to renew passports/IDs for instance. This exposes once again that Turkish consulates, which should have no function other than to serve the citizens abroad, are at the service of Erdoğan’s government.
ERDOĞAN ASKS FOR VOTES IN RETURN FOR SERVICES
The letters were sent from the AKP Headquarters in Ankara and are addressed personally to each and every voter. The messages Erdoğan gives to Turkish citizens living abroad boil down to, “We made such and such so easy for you, so you should vote for us”.
The letter includes racist phrases like “the Turkish diaspora” and openly admits that the teachers and imams sent to Europe have been tasked by the government. Below are some highlights from the letter:
“We have improved public services for our citizens abroad. We turned our Consulate Generals into communication points that truly serve you. We put thousands of teachers and religious workers so our children can learn their own language, culture and religion. We issued grants for our youth’s education, and made Turkish universities available to them free of charge.
Voting will be held between June 7 to 19 in ballots set up abroad. In these elections with historic importance for the future of our country, we will take the first steps of a new beginning with your help. We promise our brothers in the country and abroad that there will be a ‘Strong Parliament, Strong Government, Strong Turkey’ on top of all our services in the last 16 years.”