“Turkish” solution for France
Turkish society in France expects solution to high cost of living from elections. People going through difficulties in recent years, with dropping purchasing power, says Turkish resident living in France for 18 years.
In the second round of the presidential election, President Emmanuel Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen will compete to rule the country for five years.
Ahmet Ugurlu, who works in a kebab shop in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, told Anadolu Agency that he thinks it is certain that Macron will win on Sunday.
“Our expectation from the election is that life will get cheaper and go back to the way it used to be because the high cost of living has really made things miserable,” he added.
Mehmet Askan, living in France for 18 years, said people went through a difficult situation over the last two to three years and their purchasing power has dropped significantly.
Stressing that people's earnings are no longer enough for their expenses, he said thefts have also increased.
He said he expects a rise in the minimum wage and added: "(The price of) everything is rising, we change labels every day."
The high cost of living adversely affects Turks like everyone else in France, and so Turkish people living in the country are not able to visit Turkiye due to financial difficulties they are having in France, he added.
Abdullah Tutkun, a dual citizen working in a furnishing shop in Sarcelles, said that if Macron wins the election, he thinks the prices in the country will not increase further. If Le Pen wins, Tutkun said he wishes that the Muslims "see the least damage" from this situation.
Suheybe Kurul, who came to France in 1986 and working as a tailor, expects that the election helps the minimum retirement age for women be changed to 55.
There may be a problem with the headscarf if Le Pen is elected the president, she said, adding: “They are against the headscarf of foreigners, I'm a little worried about it.”
Another difficulty of being a woman with a headscarf in France is that people judge and despise these women based on their appearance, she added and said it might be better for them if Macron came to power again.
Hasan Yildiz, who works in a Turkish market in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, expressed that he wants Macron to win the election.
Listing his expectations from Macron, Yildiz wanted the streets to be kept cleaner, with at least two trash cans on each street.
He criticized the waiting times in hospitals and red tape in bureaucracy, saying: "I hope (Macron) can reduce the appointment times."
Traffic around Paris is very suffocating, he said, adding that the number of educational institutions in the country should be increased as well.
Ahmet Karaagac, a restaurant manager in Sarcelles, said he wants the next election to be for the benefit of the citizens.
He thinks Macron is better than Le Pen, although, he said, Macron does not give people much opportunity in terms of taxes and minimum wage. "(Macron) at least has no racist thoughts,” he stressed.
Regarding the rumors that Le Pen will ban the headscarf if she comes to power, he said: "This situation would not affect the Turkish society and the Muslim society in a good way."
He added that they could not vote because they are not citizens, but they still live in France and they should think about the future of their children.
In round one of the 2022 French presidential elections, on April 10, incumbent President Macron led with 27.85% of the vote followed by Le Pen with 23.15%, propelling both into a runoff set for Sunday.
by Gozde Bayar for AA