Turkish Germany

Erdogan’s Stronghold in the Industrial Ruhr Area

Türkischer Sportminister Akif Cagatay Kilic in Köln
Source: Reuters

The door to the tearoom opens in the Fatih Mosque in the Katernberg district of Essen. Some 20 pairs of eyes look up. One pair belongs to the Koran teacher, a 70-year-old matron who is sitting with her pupils around a brown table. All of them are wearing headscarves. And they’re all happy that a majority voted in favor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the referendum.

“He keeps his eye on the welfare of Turkey; he’s improving democracy there,” says a 12-year-old, translating for her grandmother, who has accompanied her granddaughter but scarcely speaks German. After the Koran lesson, the girls repeat in friendly voices: “We all know that Erdogan does only good: Our parents voted for him.”

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