Dutch police said on Monday they broke up a "huge" scuffle involving some "300 people" at a polling station in the Netherlands for the Turkish elections, in which at least two people were injured. The fight broke out on Sunday evening at the RAI conference center in Amsterdam, where Turkish-Dutch voters could vote early before the May 14 presidential election in Turkey, according to Dutch police and media.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 69, faces the most uncertain election since taking office, facing a united opposition for the first time in twenty years in a country in crisis. “The organization responsible for election security told the police that the situation was getting out of control” around 9 p.m., Amsterdam police said.
The incident broke out when AKP-MHP was making irregularities in voting in Amsterdam. It has been learned that some groups belonging to the Ottoman Hearths from Germany were taken to the building where the voting process was held in Amsterdam in an organized manner and some of them were injured in the events that broke out. Also the election building… pic.twitter.com/zCQeBcmGiF
Upon arrival, the police "found a chaotic situation inside the RAI with a huge fight involving some 300 people", the police said in a statement, adding that "at least two people were injured". Dutch media released images on Monday showing scores of police officers, some in riot gear or accompanied by dogs, separating the different parties. The fight, which broke out shortly before the office closed, was sparked by an altercation between representatives of opposing parties, according to Dutch public broadcaster NOS.
"There was shouting, panic and chaos," a witness quoted by NOS said. Calm returned a few hours later, according to police and local media. The parties in conflict have not been named by the authorities. The Turkish-Dutch community in the Netherlands numbers around 400,000 people, mostly descendants of workers who emigrated to Europe in the 1960s and 1970s.