Ethnic-Turk becomes state deputy PM in Germany

Dilek Kolat becomes first ethnic-Turk to be appointed a state deputy prime minister in Germany

Ethnic-Turk becomes state deputy PM in Germany
World Bulletin/News Desk
 
Dilek Kolat, a 47-year-old social democrat, has become the first ethnic-Turk to be appointed a State Deputy Prime Minister in Germany.

The new Governing Mayor of the state of Berlin, 50-year-old Michael Mueller, appointed his party fellow as his deputy on Thursday in his cabinet shortly after he was elected by the House of Representatives.

Kolat - who was previously a minister responsible for integration, labor and women in the cabinet of Mueller's predecessor, Klaus Wowereit, who announced his resignation in August - will continue in the same role alongside her new post.

Germany has a three-million-strong ethnic Turkish community, the majority of whom are second- and third-generation German-born Turks whose grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.

Despite the long history of immigration in Germany, ethnic-Turkish immigrants have long been seen as "as guest workers" expected to return to their home country and have not been encouraged to enter into politics.

 'Too slow'

Critics say the German government and political parties have been too slow to acknowledge that Germany is a country which relies on immigration and take relevant steps to include immigrants within the nation's political and social structures.

Green politician Cem Ozdemir became the first German lawmaker of Turkish origin in 1994 and since 2008 has been the co-chair of the opposition Green Party.

Eleven ethnic-Turkish candidates were elected to the federal parliament in general elections last year.

Aydan Ozoguz, a social democrat female politician, last year became the first-ever minister of Turkish origin in the federal government of Germany.

Ozoguz serves as the state minister for immigration, refugees and integration in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government.  

Germany’s capital, Berlin, which is also one of 16 states in the country, is ruled by a Governing Mayor, a political position equivalent to a State Prime Minister.

 

Last Mod: 11 Aralık 2014, 16:21
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