Turk’s Green Victory Echoes in Ancestral Homeland

Özdemir is the first politician of foreign descent to ascend to the leadership of a political party in the history of Germany


European Parliament member Cem Özdemir was elected co-chairman of the German Greens on Saturday. Özdemir, a http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=6017.

During the congress of the party in the eastern http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=5680 of Erfurt, Özdemir was elected with an overwhelming majority of 79.2 percent of the vote of delegates. 617 delegates voted for Özdemir, 107 against and 46 abstained. The other co-chairperson of the party, Claudia Roth, won 82.7 percent of the votes.

The 42-year-old Özdemir will lead Germany’s influential http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=898 party together with Roth. Özdemir told the convention delegates Saturday he was “looking forward” to working with Roth.

The appointment makes Özdemir a rare politician who has broken the racial barriers within the Green Party and Germany itself. Özdemir became the first http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=5548 for seven years until 2005.

There are some 2.7 million ethnic Turks in Germany, the country’s largest minority, representing about 3.3 percent of the population.

Speaking to the Anatolia News Agency after elections, Özdemir said they mostly wanted to represent those who were excluded from society in Germany.

“What is important for me is not my election as a person of Turkish origin but my election despite this fact. Whatever one’s roots are they can be elected,” he said. “I want to invite all to be engaged in politics.”