Reuters Illustrates Dutch Elections with Turkish Flags and Hijab-Clad Woman

The Reuters news agency has illustrated an article about its Dutch election coverage with a picture of a hijab-clad woman flanked by Turkish flags, in a move that has drawn criticism from its social media followers.

Dutch voters go to the polls today hot on the heels of a very public spat between Turkey’s Erdoğan government and Netherlands political leaders after the latter refused to allow Turkish ministers to campaign for a Turkish referendum in the European country.

The argument saw President Erdoğan hurl words like “Nazi” as well as seemingly making threats about the large Turkish-origin population in the Netherlands.

A tweet from Reuters World — linking to an article headlined: “Dutch vote in test of anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe” — uses an image of a hijab-clad woman flanked by Turkish flags.

Twitter users were quick to notice the odd choice of picture, with one remarking: “The Dutch flag looks different then the way i remember it” and another asking: “and why is the main picture of a covered woman? To show what????”

The criticisms didn’t stop there, with social media users asking: “Seriously Reuters? Of all the images from today’s election, you pick THIS one?” and declaring: “hey Reuters, she isn’t the typical Dutch voter, please amend your article.”

Earlier today, reports emerged that a polling station within a Turkish Islamic cultural centre in Amsterdam had hung up Turkish flags and was broadcasting Turkish radio as members of the public went to cast their vote.

According to Dutch newspaper Telegraaf, the municipal authorities were made aware of the incident and went to the centre to make sure the flags and other items including leaflets for Diyanet, the Turkish government agency in charge of religion, were removed from the polling area. “Campaign expressions are not allowed in the polling station. We have sent someone there to correct it,” a spokesman from the municipality told the paper.

“Campaign expressions are not allowed in the polling station. We have sent someone there to correct it,” a spokesman from the municipality told the paper.

Final results are expected in around 5 am CET (1 am EST), though exit polls shortly after polls close should give an indication of the result. As Reuters notes: “Unlike the U.S. or French presidential elections, there will be no outright Dutch winner under its system of proportional representation. Up to 15 parties could win a seat in parliament and none are set to reach even 20 percent of the vote.

“Experts predict a coalition-building process that will take many months once the final tally is known.”


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