Of the many signs that point to the growing influence among Turks and Kurds living in Germany of the Justice and Development Party [AKP], which represents an “updated” Islamist ideology, the worst aspect of it is that it will likely go unopposed.
The June 2011 election victory in Turkey by AKP, headed by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, provoked debate in both Western and Muslim countries, but few commentators have analyzed the impact of AKP’s third triumph at the polls on Germans of Turkish and Kurdish origin or heritage – the main Turkish immigrant community in the West, with as many as four million members, or five percent of Germany’s total census.
Turkish residents of Germany have the right to vote in Turkish elections. According to the leading organization representing the Sunni Muslim majority among them, the Türkische Gemeinde Deutschlands (Turkish Community of Germany or TGD), 63 percent of German Turks participating in the vote cast ballots for AKP and Erdoğan. Kenan Kolat, federal chair of TGD, told media that the pro-AKP result among German Turkish voters in the Turkish poll was a “legitimate representation of Turkish opinion.”