Germany could prove to be a decisive factor in President Erdogan’s plans to secure greater power – through the large number of Turks living in the country with a Turkish passport.
Europe’s largest economy has more than 1.4 million people of Turkish origin eligible to vote in parliamentary elections, or roughly as many as Bursa, Turkey’s fourth largest city after Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. And Berlin has the largest community of Turks outside their country with more than 200,000 – of whom 140,000 are eligible to vote.
Mr. Erdogan calls them “our strength abroad” and is counting on their support.
After a 12-year run as prime minister, he has been Turkey’s president since August. In that largely ceremonial function, he is supposed to be non-partisan, above the political fray.