Municipal member resigns from German Greens for 'anti-Turkish' sentiment

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 22.10.2017 21:59

A Turkish municipal council member of Germany's Greens party resigned and joined the Turks' Alliance for Innovation and Justice Party (BIG), citing the party's "unreasonable" policies and "anti-Turkish" sentiments in recent years.

Orhan Akdağ, the municipal council member elected from Greens for the town of Garbsen in Germany's Hannover district, resigned from his party and joined the BIG, a party founded in Cologne in 2010 by Turks living in the country. Akdağ pointed to the Greens support shown for controversial policies as reason for the decision, describing the party's stance as "unreasonable and unbelievable."

"Rather than showing interest in the refugee crisis, the Greens prefer to adhere to a more shallow policy, positioning itself as the anti-Turkey party. Despite the party's obligation to show a reaction to the far-right tendencies in German politics, the Greens have started playing into the hands of the far-right. The only thing that Greens Party Chairman Cem Özdemir does is point at Turkey as if he is an opposition party leader in Turkey," Akdağ said, criticizing his former party.

There are an estimated three million people in the country's Turkish-German community. Prior to the recent general elections, all political parties adopted anti-Turkish discourse that mainly targeted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Cem Özdemir, the co-chairman of Germany's Green Party known for his anti-Turkey sentiments despite being a Turk himself, went so far as to call for a ban on teaching the Turkish language to students in Germany, which he brought up in an interview with the Zeit newspaper.

Akdağ claimed that not only the Greens but all political parties in Germany only pretend to support migrants. He said that they actually aim to assimilate migrants and make them forget their true identities.

"They [the Greens] do not have any activities regarding the murders of the terrorist organization National Socialist Underground (NSU). They do not come up with policies for the refugees that were attacked or the migrants. They do not touch on the problems of the Muslims. Unfortunately, none of the political parties in Germany do that," he said, complaining that the Greens are absent whenever there is an issue regarding Turks or migrants.The NSU is accused of murdering eight Turks, carrying out a string of bank robberies and a bomb attack targeting a predominantly Turkish neighborhood in Germany.

Despite its links to many gangs in Germany's neo-Nazi scene, the NSU apparently went unnoticed for years, from the late 1990s to 2011. Authorities initially blamed domestic disputes within the Turkish community for the murders and various other crimes between 2000 and 2007. German media outlets have even dubbed the murders the "döner killings" in reference to the popular Turkish dish.

In terms of joining to the BIG, Akdağ said that, as a result of all of his concerns over the Greens, the BIG is the party that he feels closest to.

"Now, as the Hannover-Garbsen municipal council member, I will join the BIG lineup and continue my work here," he said.

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