In Germany, Immigrants Are Becoming a Serious Political Force
BERLIN – As Germans head to the polls on Sept. 24, nearly 6 million eligible voters, or 10 percent of all eligible voters, are themselves immigrants or the children of migrants — a number that is sure to grow in years to come. In contrast with their counterparts in the United States or Britain, however, German political parties have no history of targeting minority groups in political campaigns. But recent appeals to the country’s two largest migrant communities indicate that this might be changing.
Less than six weeks before the election, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called upon voters of Turkish descent in Germany to withhold their votes from three of Germany’s main political parties, the Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats and the Greens, calling all of them “enemies of Turkey.” Meanwhile, the Alternative for Germany, poised to be the first far-right party to enter parliament in post-war Germany, has been busy courting potential voters from the immigrants of the former Soviet bloc.