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Erdogan's influence on the German election

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18.09.2021

The advice circulating online is that the CDU/CSU is particularly unelectable, because of its policy on Islam. The CDU/CSU, the advice claims, ruled itself out when Interior Minister Horst Seehofer stated that Islam did not "belong to" Germany.

German-Turkish voters are also advised that the SPD is not an option because it sympathizes with members of the Turkish opposition, Gülenists, and exiles. The Greens, the party of Cem Özdemir, a so-called "enemy of Turkey," and the Left Party, which includes the "PKK supporter Sevim Dagdelen," are definitely out of the question. And while the posts comment that the FDP has not expressed any hatred of Turkey or Islam in recent years, they also say it would not be a friend to Ankara or Muslims if it became part of a coalition government.

Basically, the advice is that none of these parties can be voted for, which sounds almost like a call for an election boycott.

Similar views were expressed before the 2017 federal election. Back then, they came directly from the office of the Turkish president in Ankara: Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself called on eligible German voters of Turkish origin not to vote for the CDU/CSU, the SPD, or the Greens, saying that they were all enemies of Turkey.

Organizations close to the AKP then mobilized on behalf of the "Alliance of German Democrats," a micro-party founded by German Turks the previous year. It only stood in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where it won twelve percent of the German-Turkish vote. This constituted 0.4 percent of votes in that state, or just 0.1 percent nationally. There is no party with Turkish roots standing for election in 2021. Nonetheless, the AKP lobby is trying to interfere — especially now that the election is turning into a neck-and-neck race.

DW editor Elmas Topcu

In the early stages of the campaign, Erdogan supporters looked around and........

© Deutsche Welle


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