Published on 4th November 2017 by

The struggle of many Turkish Dutch people: do you have to choose between your fatherland and your motherland?

During and after the failed coup attempt in Turkey, thousands of Turkish Dutch living in The Netherlands went on the streets to support President Erdogan and the elected Turkish government. The fact that some people in the Dutch Turkish community went on the streets in The Netherlands in order to openly support Erdogan brought up the question of the community’s integration and loyalty to the Netherlands. What lays under this embrace of the Turkish democracy?

Original title: Erdogans aanhang

Since the failed coup attempt and the display of the Turkish flags on the Dutch streets, the debate has broken loose. In the last years, the overall image of the Turkish Dutch is absolutely positive. They are often successfully integrated and score low on the list of crime rates. With higher and higher education, some of them even resturn to Turkey to take advantage of the economic growth there. In short, a community who rarely reaches the front pages.

Now, after the coup attempt in Turkey, the Turkish Dutch who see Erdogan as a carrier of democracy are suddenly catching all the attention: the degree of their integration and their loyalty to the Netherlandsare being questioned. And more particularly the pro Erdogan and strongly against the coup slogans that were chanted during the protests set a lot of people loose. Why do the Turkish Dutch support a president often described in Europe as a dictator?

For the followers, Turkish pride, Erdogan and sovereignty are inextricably linked. But what is hidden behind the self-conscious embrace of the Turkish democracy? Is that also linked to the fact that the Turkish Dutch community does not feel fully accepted by the Dutch as Dutch citizens?

Do the turkish Dutch have to choose between the Netherlands and Turkey? Is it possible to choose between your father and your mother?

Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2016.
© VPRO Backlight November 2016

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Director: Halil Ibrahim Özpamuk
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.


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