An authoritarian president or a “racist” opposition? In Antakya, two radically opposed visions
In Antakya, Sonia and Mohamad are both 30 years old and speak two of the same languages perfectly: Turkish and Arabic. However, everything, politically, separates them.
Sonia, who works in the tourism sector, comes from the Arabs of Turkey, a linguistic minority resulting from the attachment to Turkey of the former sandjak of Alexandretta (today Iskenderun). She voted for Kemal Kiliçdaroglu in both rounds and for her party, the CHP, in the legislative elections. Her choice, traditional and almost family, has been reinforced by her fed up with the outgoing president, his authoritarianism, the economic crisis and the management of the Syrian crisis – even if she has nothing against Syrian refugees .
Like Sonia, Mohamad is one of the earthquake survivors. He and his family were able to leave their building before a second tremor caused it to collapse. A Syrian naturalized Turkish after fleeing the Idlib region in 2013, because he was wanted for apostasy by the jihadists, he is one of some 300,000 refugees naturalized by Ankara thanks to his university level. Today a teacher of Turkish, especially to foreigners, he voted without qualms for Mr. Erdogan, to block the opposition: “racists and fascists”he asserts.
Hatay province, covered in tent camps and prefabs after the earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people, sent an equal number of deputies from AKP, Erdogan’s party, and CHP to parliament.
Source: Le Monde