The Allianz Deutscher Demokraten (ADD), a political party in Germany founded by Turkish-Germans, has faced another obstacle after their bank account was shut down for the fourth time for no reason.
The party has not been able to open a bank account for a long time, and this current blockage came shortly before the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia that were held Sunday. Secretary General of the ADD, Halil Ertem, said they have had difficulties during the election campaigning period, adding that political obstacles would not be able to prevent them from taking part in the elections.
Stressing that all banks, including Turkish banks, have so far refused to open an account for the party, and their bank accounts have been closed for the fourth time for no reason, Ertem said the bank employees who have been trying to lend a helping hand to the party were fired.
The party complained about the lack of equal rights while campaigning against other parties, saying that the struggle to open a bank account plays an important role in it. Ertem said that the ADD has to make propaganda only through social media due to lack of funding.
Also, the ADD cannot use its party emblem due to a legal restriction that was imposed by a court recently upon the ccomplaint of the far-right Neo-Nazi party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).
The secretary general slammed German media for its silence on the incidents. Stressing that German media has been trying to label the ADD as a Turkish political party, Ertem said that the news outlets keep silent over the developments regarding the ADD.
In spite of the hurdles and difficulties put in their way, Ertem said the ADD wanted to test their influence over the voters by taking part in the state elections in North Rhein-Westphalia.
Ramazan Akbaş, one of the founders of the party, had said earlier that their efforts are blocked by some circles for no concrete reason. "We applied to some 200 banks so far and 79 banks immediately rejected our request. We managed to open acounts in four banks in four months but they were later closed by the banks without any explanation. Even a bank that pledged to keep our bank account open – regardless of [German Chancellor] Merkel's intervention to close it – closed our account two weeks after we opened it in the city of Sigmaringen.