The returns, on first glance, may come as a surprise. About 63 percent of German Turks who participated in Turkey’s constitutional referendum voted to increase President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power, a far greater margin than voters actually living in Turkey.
This outcome has caused handwringing in Germany and triggered a debate over whether or not the community of 3.5 million people of Turkish origin in Germany are fully integrated into society and share the country’s democratic values.
Torsten Albig, the premier of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany, believes the outcome of the Turkey referendum demonstrates how people in general, not Turks in particular, are susceptible to the allure of the strongman.
“The voting of Turks in Germany is not an expression of a failed integration policy,” Mr. Albig told Handelsblatt. “It clearly shows that the campaign of an anti-democratic politician can catch on in a democratic population – not just in Turkey but also in all of Europe.”