Παρασκευή, 21 Ιουνίου 2013

Erdogan loses support among Balkan migrants

In Turkey, migrants from the Balkans have traditionally supported Prime Minister Erdogan. But it looks as if the forced clearance of Gezi Park may have cost the Prime Minister some of that support.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's speech in Istanbul on June 16 was in effect a response to the anti-government protests. The Turkish Prime Minister addressed hundreds of thousands of supporters the day after police used water cannons and tear gas to clear Gezi Park of protesters.
"I want you to shout so loudly that Sarajevo and Zenica can hear you," Erdogan told the audience, and saluted the people of Macedonia and Kosovo as well. Many Turkish Muslims in the Balkans have long been staunch supporters of Erdogan's conservative AKP party. His political and economic involvement in the region has usually won him their votes in the past.
Esat Günay, whose ancestors left Bosnia for Turkey more than 50 years ago, says the Balkans are still very important to them. "If the people there are content, we are content. We're pleased that Erdogan involves the Balkans," he says.

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