Turkish migrants opposed to the Erdogan regime in their homeland and now living in Europe are increasingly concerned about the radicalisation of their fellow migrants, and the potential for a “civil war” in Europe.
Speaking to best-selling Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung, a number of Turkish migrants living in Europe have spoken out against the fermenting political and social climate among Turks influenced by the Islamist and increasingly hardline president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Speaking ahead of the April 16th referendum which if passed would see Erdoğan’s executive powers significantly strengthened, one Turkish migrant said freedom of expression was being stamped out in Turkey and those sentiments were spreading to Europe.
Remarking that her middle-class professional relatives still in Turkey have been forced out of their jobs because they criticised Erdoğan, the woman: “Freedom of expression is no longer possible in my ex- homeland”. Claiming that the Turkish government monitored all digital communications for criticism of the regime, she remarked: “I need to be very careful in communicating with my relatives”.
Warning the radicalisation would lead to trouble not just for Turkey but for Europe too, which is home to tens of millions of first and second-generation Turkish migrants, youth political activist for the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) party in Austria Tahsin Tekin said: “Erdoğan will win the vote, if not with votes, then through manipulation”.
The result of this, he warned, would be “total chaos, a civil war that could spread to half of Europe… Many Turks living in Austria are increasingly becoming radicalised.
A Turkish student in Austria, who complained that almost all of his friends had stopped speaking to him because of his opposition to Erdoğan, backed up the idea that the radicalisation was taking place not just to Turks in Turkey, but in Europe as well. He said: “In the place where I was born, and in Austria, it seems to me that brainwashing has happened to most of my countrymen.
“The main problem is that most of them are using Turkish media, and they are controlled by Erdoğan, and even talk shows and soap operas are carrying their terrible propaganda, not to mention news and political parts in newspapers”.
The loyalty of Turks living and working in Europe to the government of their homeland has been massively demonstrated in recent weeks in the lead-up to the April referendum, as hundreds took to the streets of European cities to violently protest European governments banning Turkish politicians from holding political rallies.
The comments about a coming civil war in Europe forced by Turkish radicalisation comes just weeks after Turkish President Erdoğan issued a chilling warning to the people of Europe. Speaking after the diplomatic spats that led to Turkish politicians banned from addressing rallies and the protests that followed, Erdoğan remarked: “If you continue to behave like this, not a single European, not a single Westerner will be able to take a step on the road safely anytime in the world… We as Turkey are calling on Europe to respect human rights and democracy”.