Turkey’s president Erdogan assured EU’s Muslims he is their protector. During the controversial EU rally, Turkish leader has addressed supporters living in Europe, Times reported on Monday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Sarajevo where local Muslims gathered to listen to his address ahead of snap elections in Turkey. Thousands of Bosnian Turks attended Erdogan’s EU rally on Sunday after he meets with his Bosnian counterpart Bakir Izetbegovic who is Muslim, too. “Sultan Erdogan” the crowd chanted as Turkish leader arrived.
Following Austria, Germany and the Netherlands announced they would not allow election rallies, Erdogan’s team organized the only campaign in Europe, in Sarajevo whose national leader allowed that pre-election event. Half of Bosnia’s 3.5 million citizens are Muslims, a third are Serbs, while Croats make up some 15 percent of the population.
More than 3 million Turks living abroad are eligible to vote from June 7, on June 24 Turkish people will express its will in parliamentary and presidential elections, ushering in a new system of governance. The executive presidency, which narrowly passed in a referendum in April 2017, will concentrate more powers in the president’s hands and abolish the office of the prime minister.
Many of the participants, who arrived from several European countries, including Germany, Austria, Denmark and France, were wearing scarves and banners carrying pictures of the Turkish leader, and waving Turkish flags. Erdogan thanked them, saying that European Turks should show their strength under any circumstances.
“I have one request from you, take an active role in the political parties in the countries you live. You should take a place in those parliaments,”
Turkey’s president urged EU Turkish diaspora to get involved in the politics of their adopted countries and take citizenship.