Turks underrepresented in new German parliament

Only 14 lawmakers with Turkish background elected to 709-seat Bundestag, where far-right became third-largest group

Turks underrepresented in new German parliament

World Bulletin / News Desk

Following Sunday’s election, German leader Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc will not have a single lawmaker with a Turkish background, despite there being a three-million strong Turkish community in the country.

A total of 14 lawmakers with Turkish roots will take their seats in Germany’s new parliament, accounting for just 1.9 percent of the 709-member body.

Cemile Yusuf had been the only CDU lawmaker with Turkish heritage in the previous parliament but failed to be returned in this election which saw losses for Merkel’s Christian Democrat CDU/CSU bloc and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Martin Schulz.

The SPD, which decided to assume the role of the main opposition after a record election defeat, has drawn the largest number of lawmakers from the Turkish community. 

The coalition government’s integration minister, 50-year-old Aydan Ozoguz, was re-elected together with SPD colleagues Metin Hakverdi, Cansel Kiziltepe, Mahmut Ozdemir and Gulistan Yuksel.

Thirty-two-year old Elvan Korkmaz, a young female SPD politician from North Rhine-Westphalia, was elected for the first time to Bundestag.

However, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, which was the largest party after Sunday’s election and is expected to lead the next coalition government, will have no Turkish lawmaker among its ranks.

The liberal Free Democrats (FDP), the likely future coalition partner of Merkel’s conservatives, also has no ethnic-Turkish lawmakers.

Germany's Greens, which advocate liberal integration policies, has the second largest number of ethnic-Turkish MPs after the Social Democrats.

Co-chair, Cem Ozdemir, was re-elected together with experienced lawmaker Ekin Deligoz. Two other successful female candidates -- Canan Bayram from Berlin and Filiz Polat from Hannover -- will also be among the new faces in this Bundestag.

Thirty-four-year old Danyal Bayaz was also elected to the Bundestag for the first time.

The socialist Left Party, which is often criticized by Turkish officials for not denouncing PKK terrorism, managed to elect three lawmakers with close ties to the immigrant Kurdish population.

Sevim Dagdelen was re-elected while Gokay Akbulut and Evrim Sommer entered parliament for the first time. 

Germany’s Turkish community had been represented by 11 ethnic-Turkish lawmakers in the previous parliament, which had a total of 631 representatives. 

The Turkish Community in Germany (TGD) association ahead of the elections called on political parties to take measures, including setting quotas, to increase the representation of citizens with an immigrant background in the Bundestag.

Last Mod: 25 Eylül 2017, 13:56
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