Racist German party AFD’s ever-increasing influence in politics encourage eligible German Turkish voters to hit the polls in upcoming Federal elections, according to a report by Perspektif.
Around 700 thousand out of Germany’s 4 million Turkish diaspora are eligible voters. Although German Social Democrats are the most popular party among Turkish community, most members of the diaspora remain indifferent to politics as their issues are rarely addressed by German policy makers. However, most of the Turkish community are determined to cast ballots in the upcoming Federal elections in September in order to help stop the rise of racist AFD.
Germany’s far-right party entered the Federal Parliament for the first time in 2017 after after gaining popularity propelled by refuge influx into the country from war-torn Syria. Established in April 2013, the AfD narrowly missed the 5% electoral threshold to sit in the Bundestag during the 2013 federal elections. In the 2017 federal elections, the AfD became the third-largest party in Germany after winning 94 seats in the Bundestag, thus also becoming the biggest opposition party.
47 years old pharmacy technician Pinar says she has no interests in politics whatsoever but she will cast her vote in September to help stop racist AFD, Perspektif reported. “I will most certainly vote to make sure AFD would not pass the election threshold,” Pinar reiterated. She also expects mainstream political parties to grant dual citizenship rights to German-Turks. More than 3 million Turks are denied German citizenship despite the fact that they have been living in Germany for more than 3 generations.
Most recent polls suggest AFD would receive 11 percent votes in the upcoming elections making it the 5th largest party in Bundestag. Election threshold to enter the federal parliament in Germany is 5 percent.
41 years old Turkish-German lawyer Sinem also expects German parties to put an end to discrimination foreigners have been facing in several aspects of lives while while making sure freedom of religion is secured. German Muslims have been facing systematic attacks as official data suggests over 1,000 yearly Islamophobic attacks in the country. However, independent NGO says the real number of attacks are much higher as most incidents go unreported or police classify the attacks under different reasons.
Members of Turkish community expects too little or nothing from the Turkish-German federal parliament members as they barely represent the community. German parties choose marginal Turkish names like Cem Ozdemir or pro-PKK figure Sevim Dagdelen who share no common values with Germany’s Turkish community as the members complain.