World, Europe

Germany’s parliament more reflective of diverse population after elections

18 lawmakers with Turkish background elected to 735-seat Bundestag, raising hopes for stronger political participation of migrants

Ayhan Simsek   | 27.09.2021
Germany’s parliament more reflective of diverse population after elections FILE PHOTO

BERLIN

Germany’s parliament has become more reflective of the diverse population after Sunday’s elections, as more politicians with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds were elected to the Bundestag.

At least 18 politicians with Turkish roots, most of them women, will take their seats in Germany’s new parliament, according to the preliminary official results.

Germany’s 3 million-strong Turkish community is one of the largest ethnic groups in the country, but they have long been underrepresented in political life and in the Bundestag.

But following the center-left Social Democratic Party’s (SPD) election win, the parliament will see the number of ethnic Turkish lawmakers increased.

Aydan Ozoguz, a former integration minister, was re-elected to parliament together with SPD colleagues Metin Hakverdi, Cansel Kiziltepe, Mahmut Ozdemir, Nezahat Baradari, and Gulistan Yuksel.

SPD candidates Macit Karaahmetoglu, Hakan Demir, and Derya Turk-Nachbaur, were elected to the Bundestag for the first time .

The Social Democrats won Sunday’s parliamentary elections by a narrow margin against the Christian Democrats, and the party’s popularity among the Turkish community has also contributed to the party’s success.

From Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party, a young female politician, Serap Guler, has managed to win a seat after a successful election campaign.

During the campaign, she promised that fight against discrimination, promoting equal rights and equal opportunities, will be her priorities.

Guler is the only ethnic Turkish lawmaker in the CDU/CSU alliance, which has the second-biggest parliamentary group in the Bundestag.

The environmentalist Greens party, which came in third in Sunday’s elections, will have five ethnic Turkish lawmakers in the parliament.

Prominent lawmaker Cem Ozdemir was re-elected together with his experienced colleagues Ekin Deligoz, Canan Bayram, and Filiz Polat.

Melis Sekmen, a young Greens politician from Mannheim was elected to the Bundestag for the first time.

The Greens are highly popular especially among the young generations of the Turkish community, due to their liberal policies and pro-immigration stance.

Germany’s Left Party, known for their radical positions on foreign policy matters, and often criticized by Turkish officials for not denouncing PKK terrorism, also had three lawmakers with migration backgrounds.

Sevim Dagdelen and Gokay Akbulut were re-elected, while Ates Gurpinar entered parliament for the first time.


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