RAI Amsterdam will not be a Turkish poling place for second round of voting
Dutch-Turkish people who intend to vote in the second round of the Turkish presidential elections will not be able to vote again at the RAI Amsterdam. Instead, a polling place will be open at the Rhone Events & Congrescenter near the Amsterdam Sloterdijk station from May 20 to 24. Voters can also cast a ballot at the same locations in The Hague, Deventer and Eindhoven as during the first round.
The conference center in Amsterdam will be deploying extra security guards to prevent any unrest, owner Umut Kaplan said on Tuesday. In the first round of voting, the situation got out of hand at the Amsterdam RAI two different times.
The biggest problems at the convention center unfolded on May 7. A brawl broke out as the polls closed that day, with about 300 people involved in the fighting. The police called it a "chaotic situation" at the time, and dispatched dozens of officers, canine units and riot police to restore calm.
The municipality of Amsterdam itself is not putting any security measures in place during the upcoming round of voting, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Those working at the GIA Trade and Exhibition Centre in The Hague said they are not afraid of unrest during the second round. "There are fifty security men here. There is also security here from the Turkish consulate," said an employee of the event center. "Twice we had a heated discussion during the first round." Three or four security guards will help cool down a situation if voices begin to rise, he said. "But the recent elections went better than expected."
The municipality of Deventer announced on Tuesday that there are no concrete signs of possible unrest. If that turns out to be the case, the deployment of police and security guards will be scaled up. The Van der Valk Hotel in Eindhoven did not want to say whether additional security measures will be taken.
The elections are entering the second round because none of the candidates received 50 percent of the total votes. The battle is mainly between incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his biggest competitor, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Erdogan received 49.50 percent of all votes and Kilicdaroglu 44.80 percent. Roughly 69 percent of those who voted in the Netherlands cast a ballot for Erdogan, according to state media in Turkey.
In the second round, the ballot boxes in the Netherlands will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Reporting by ANP