Erdogan supporters threaten police and press in Heusden-Zolder

Supporters of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took to the streets in many European towns and cities with sizable Turkish populations to celebrate his victory in the Turkish presidential elections on Sunday. The celebrations turned sour in the Limburg municipality of Heusden-Zolder as President Erdogan’s supporters threatened police and journalists.     

The Local Police Service in Heusden-Zolder had taken precautionary measures to make sure that any celebrations or demonstration linked to the Turkish elections passed without disturbance to other residents. The sounding of car horns was ban as was blocking the public thoroughfare.  

Nevertheless, several hundred cars blocked the road for several hours. The police was forced to divert traffic. In the chaos that ensued a car crashed into an unmarked police car. Two people were injured and were taken to hospital for treatment. A total of 75 crime reports were drafted.  

There wasn’t only traffic chaos in Heusden-Zolder though as members of the press, including our colleagues from VRT Radio 2 Limburg, were the subject of threats and abuse.  

Radio 2’s Dirk Reynders told VRT News that “When we took out a camera to make some photographs for the website it was like a red rag to a bull. A number of trouble makers started threatening and verbally abusing us. Later they came looking for us with a few dozen others. We were surrounded, threatened and sworn at. They also threatened to smash up our equipment”.