Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Erdogan’s party has opened a branch in Germany to run in European elections

No other country has spent so much time trying to become a member of the EU, and no other candidate country is now so far away from being accepted. But Erdogan found a way to sit in the European Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of Turks came to Germany in the 1960s as “guest workers.” They and their descendants now constitute a strong population of about three million inhabitants of the country, and the idea that Berlin is the second largest Turkish city in population after Istanbul has become a cliché.

Erdogan decided to take advantage of the voting potential of this electoral niche, and his party, the AKP, opened a branch in Germany to run from there in the European elections in June. The new political party presents itself with the name Demokratische Allianz für Vielfalt und Aufbruch (Dava), which means Democratic Alliance for Diversity and Awakening, and has a real chance to get the road: unlike the national elections, currently there is no blocking clause in the European elections in Germany; a minimum threshold of votes is required to be represented in the European Parliament, so that, with less than one percent of the votes, it is sufficient to send an MEP.

Its main representatives are well-known members of the largest German Islamic association, and the party is clearly committed to the goal of specifically representing the interests of Muslims. “People with foreign roots are often not accepted as full citizens in Germany,” the party said in the press release announcing its founding. DAVA says it wants to denounce this unfair treatment “very clearly” and campaign “vigorously” against “anti-Muslim racism.”

The goal is also a “pragmatic and ideology-free refugee policy” that takes into account Germany’s labor shortage. The party emerged before the “citizenship reform” created by Olaf Scholz’s ‘traffic light coalition’, which would allow many Turks to obtain citizenship and vote in Germany. Among its main candidates, leaked to the German press, is the 53-year-old Hamburg doctor Mustafa Yoldas, whom the Federal Ministry of the Interior found guilty of “supporting Hamas.”

Also included are Lower Saxony doctor Ali Ihsan Ünlü, an official of the Turkish organization DITIB, and Solingen lawyer Fatih Zingal, a former member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Teyfik Özcan, also a former member of the SPD, is currently the leader of the party, which does not hold congresses or assemblies. All men are close to the Turkish AKP and will be unprecedented speakers for Hamas in the German political debate.

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is trying to “break up” Turkish people born in Germany and “build a parallel world,” criticized the president of the German-Israeli society, Volker Beck. All German political parties agree that Dava will increase the weight of German politics, and the Minister of Agriculture, the Green Cem Özdemir, who has a Turkish family, complains that this new party is “the last thing we need.”

The expert on Islam in Germany, Ahmad Mansour, thinks that the initiative constitutes the first step of political Islam in Germany. “The fact that Erdogan-affiliated parties like DAVA have emerged is a symptom of a larger problem: Muslims in Germany are alienating and distancing themselves from our values,” he warned, reading of the establishment of the party as just one “of many.” Erdogan’s attempts to change the politics of Germany and Europe.

“Strong party in the short term”

Mansour doubts that DAVA “will be a strong party in the short term,” but he is sure that it can change in the long term. A risk that increases the polls of the anti-foreign party Alternative for Germany (AfD). “The deportation plans of the AfD are an acceleration of the fire,” said judge Mansour, who also said that “since the attack by Hamas on October 7, we are facing a wave of radicalization in the community of Muslims in Germany,” so believe that now is “exactly right. time” for DAVA to win these voters.

The party specifically positions itself as a party of immigrants but has no concrete offers. Bild am Sonntag, which has access to internal documents, reports that it calls for “a pragmatic refugee policy without ideology” and that it draws attention to daily discrimination to demand that “people who have foreign roots will get all their rights.” As a first response to these data, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) welcomed the Dava Foundation with renewed criticism of the planned reform of the citizenship law.

The CDU and CSU “clearly warned that a relaxed dual citizenship would attract a branch of Erdogan in Germany,” recalls Jens Spahn. From Bavaria, the regional president and leader of the CSU, Markus Söder, lamented that “German policy is influenced from abroad.” The FDP liberals and the Greens joined in the criticism.

“This is a party that clearly wants to break society,” accused the head of the FDP parliamentary group, Christian Dürr. The leader of the SPD parliamentary group, Rolf Mützenich, also expressed his doubts. “The model is Erdogan, who takes cases of real discrimination and uses them for his political propaganda,” explained Alhambra Muslim Society founder Eren Güvercin in an interview with Die Welt.

World Nation News Desk
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