More than 63% of expat Turkish citizens in Germany voted in favour of giving sweeping new powers to the office of the Turkish president in last week’s referendum.

But since voter turnout in Germany was about 49%, less than half a million Turkish residents in Germany eligible to vote in the referendum supported President Erdogan’s bid to end the country’s current parliamentary political system.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Germany has a community of about three million residents with Turkish roots, roughly half of whom were entitled to vote in the referendum.

In response to the vote, the head of Germany’s Greens Party said on April 18 that some Turkish citizens living in Germany seem to think they can “get away with touching the constitution with just the tips of their toes”. To be happy in the long run in Germany, people have to completely accept the “values and constitution of our country,” said 51-year-old Cem Öz­de­mir, himself of Turkish descent.

Germany is going to have to accept the fact that hundreds of thousands of Turks living in Germany are loyal to Germany on an “economic and social level,” – but on a “political and ideological level, they are loyal to Er­do­gan,” commented Christian Democratic (CDU) politician Wolf­gang Bos­bach.

In an interview with DW, Detlef Pollack, a professor of sociology of religion at Münster University, said: “Older men in particular like the fact that someone is finally showing the West, the EU, how things should be; it’s an expression of defiance, assertiveness and resentment”.