Belgium: Turkish community clashes

Four people have reportedly been injured outside the Turkish Consulate in Brussels after clashes between supporters and opponents of the Turkish Government. Some protesters chanted “Erdogan’s a fascist” and “release our friends”.

#VIDEO: Protestors outside Turkish Consulate in Brussels shout “Terrorist Erdogan” after knife attack on 3 Kurds – https://t.co/slPwmo801T pic.twitter.com/vQbScwn5JL— Kom News (@KomNewsCom) March 30, 2017

The clashes erupted as the Turkish diaspora take to the polls to vote in a controversial referendum that could see President Erdogan’s powers greatly expanded. A European Council watchdog described the referendum as ‘the road to autocracy’.

Three of the injured reportedly suffered stab wounds and one person is in a critical condition.

Three Turkish-Kurds wounded by Erdogan supporters in a brawl in front of Turkish Consulate in Brussels before vote. https://t.co/PT5odYxnF9 pic.twitter.com/LDxVwf1iuw— Abdullah Ayasun (@abyasun) March 30, 2017

One protester announced:

“We have friends inside [the consulate]. If something, anything happens to our friends who are on duty on the ballot boxes, they [Turkish officials] have to know that we can bring the consulate crashing down on their heads.”

Turkish-European relations have been on rocky ground after the Turkish government’s attempt to rally support among ex-pats in Europe. Erdogan reacted furiously when Germany, the Netherlands restricted political rallies on their soil amid fears of growing tension.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel condemned the violence, publishing on twitter: “The Belgian government has absolute zero tolerance for any spillovers from the Turkish referendum. I condemn the riots at the embassy in Brussels.”

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