Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Share this article

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA
13:03 CEST+02:00
Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections.

Germany's capital is home to 140,000 Turkish people with the right to vote in their native country and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has written to Chancellor Angela Merkel asking for the stadium to be made into a polling station.

Over the next few days he should get his answer from the ministry of foreign affairs, the BZ newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Berlin police are, the newspaper said, already drawing up plans to host voters safely in the 75,000-seater stadium for September's elections.

Erdogan, 60, will likely be standing for re-election as Prime Minister. Critics have voiced concern that Germany would be seen to supporting the controversial leader’s campaign if it agreed to his request for the stadium to be used.

“Germany will lose credibility,” said author and lawyer Seyran Ates.

Others have maintained that it is important Turks abroad have the opportunity to be part of the election.

“Erdogan has more appeal abroad than he does at home,” head of the German Turkish Association Kenan Kolat told the BZ.

He added: “People with Turkish citizenship will be able to vote abroad for the first time. It's important that they have this opportunity.”

Hakan Tas, interior office spokesman for Die Linke, told the BZ he would warn against having one big voting station. He said he thought the Turkish embassy, consulates or cultural centres would be a better idea.

SEE ALSO Germany agrees to expand dual citizenship

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

Change the world with a master’s degree from Sweden’s Linköping University

Master’s students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren’t there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?