Turks in France divided over Erdogan reelection

President Emmanuel Macron has congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after his presidential election win on Sunday, Macron’s office said on Tuesday. “The French president has congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and wished the Turkish people success in the economic and social development of their country and in the democratic functioning of their institutions,” an Elysee Palace source said.

Turks in France, however, remain divided over the election results. For restaurant owner Fatih Saillard, Erdogan’s reelection marks a victory for Turkey. “[It’s] a country that advances economically, politically, [and] ensures the people’s well-being.” Others in the Rhone-Alpes shared similar sentiments: “it’s great, great. Because the of the economy, the hospitals…”

Those who voted for other parties were less enthusiastic. Mustafa, who voted for the Kurdish party, said: “Democracy means accepting others along with their differences, if we want to oppress the opposition, it’s not because there is a majority that there is a supposed democracy,” he said.

In Limousin, residents were also divided. Ali Guven, an AKP supporter, believed that Erdogan was helping to advance the country: “Each person is free to live their beliefs, their religion, their culture, everyone can express their political opinions, so I think that Turkey is an example for the entire world.”

Others were worried, “He speaks about democracy, it doesn’t exist…equality between men and women no longer exists because he says that women should wear the veil, that women must have children, that women must stay in the home,” said one interviewee.

Another observer stated, “I think he cheated…the opposition recognized its defeat, now we must acknowledge that Erdogan is still there.”

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