Referendum celebrations in Germany obstructed and fined by traffic police

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 17.04.2017 13:14
Updated 17.04.2017 14:05

Turkish citizens living in the German city of Cologne, an area with one of the highest concentrations of Turkish immigrants, hoped to celebrate the outcome of Turkey's referendum yesterday evening but were hindered and fined by the German traffic police.

People began to celebrate before the victory of the "Yes" victory was officially confirmed, taking to the streets and forming auto convoys. People waved Turkish flags from car windows, blew their car horn, sang songs and played traditional Ottoman "mehter" (march) music. According to German media, celebrations were concentrated in the areas around the Ehrenfeld mosque and the Cologne Ring.

There was high referendum participation in Germany, and 64.1 percent of Turkish voters in Cologne opted to vote for "Yes," above the German average of 63.07 percent.

When the convoy reached the area of Friesenplatz in the city center, the German police imposed penalty fines using various justifications including that the revelers were "making noise." According to one Turkish citizen, who did not wish to give his name, the police had allowed enthusiastic celebrations on the streets after national German matches but now restrained people who wanted to show their joy over the Turkish election results.

However, in spite of obstructions by German authorities, Turkish citizens continued to express their festive mood on Cologne's streets.

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