The brawl that took place at the RAI convention center in Amsterdam on Sunday evening involved hundreds of people arguing over the counting of votes for the Turkish election. Two people were left injured as a result of the fighting. Their condition was not released.
The RAI was one of several polling places located in the Netherlands where people with the right to vote in the election could cast a ballot from the Netherlands. Police said on Monday that they were forced to step in on the last day of voting “when the organization was no longer in control of the situation, which disrupted public order.
It happened at about 9 p.m. when ballots were being counted. “The situation had gotten so out of hand that the organization responsible for the safe conduct of the elections needed help from the police,” Dutch authorities said.
”Subsequently, the police went to the scene in large numbers and found a chaotic situation inside the Rai in which a massive brawl between about 300 people was going on. Two victims were injured during the fighting.” Riot police and canine units were deployed to help restore order, along with a large number of officers who were dispatched to the scene. It took about three hours for the situation to calm down
There were no arrests made as of Monday afternoon. “An investigation is being conducted into what criminal offenses were committed and what the circumstances of these disturbances are.”
Turkish media outlets said that supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) escalated the situation and initiated the violence, however police said the situation remained under investigation. The European Union is among the governments classifying the PKK as a terrorist organization, although others say the designation does not paint an accurate picture.
A spokesperson for the convention center told AT5 that the fighting was between supporters of different political parties who were observing the process, and not voters. “All week, there has been a tense atmosphere in the elections in the RAI. Tonight that escalated. Extra security was already present.”
Dutch police said they were in no way involved in the organization of the election, and were not tasked with making sure the votes could be counted in a “safe and smooth” way. Dutch police asserted that their only task was to restore public order.
Hollanda / Amsterdam / Rai seçim bürosunda kavga!
Bunu yaşatanlar, geriye dönüp baktıklarında utanırlar mı bilemem ama bu duruma düşenler birgün dizlerini dövecekler, bunu iyi biliyorum. pic.twitter.com/xXkLpiLB2e
— Mustafa Deniz (@mustafaadeniz) May 7, 2023
#Turken vallen #Koerden aan tijdens stemmen in de #Rai Amsterdam.#TurkseGeweld #Erdogan pic.twitter.com/c5KcSIpVq6
— Willem Elsschot (@WElsschot) May 7, 2023
Çevik kuvvet eşliğinde içeridekilerin güvenle dışarı çıkarılmasını bekliyoruz. Metro girişinde AKP destekçisi bir grup içeridekilere saldırı için hazır bekliyor. #Amsterdam #Rai #Seçim #ilkturdabitirelim pic.twitter.com/WPFgmv8BJA
— Sîdar Rênas (@SidarRenas) May 7, 2023
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