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Turkish community wants better representation in Germany

TURKISH COMMUNITY WANTS BETTER REPRESENTATION IN GERMANY

The chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD) has called on political parties to take measures, including setting quotas, to increase representation of citizens with an immigrant background in Germany's parliament, the Bundestag.

"Almost 25 percent of Germany's population have an immigration background. But currently only 3.5 percent of the lawmakers at the federal parliament are of immigrant origin," Gökay Sofuoğlu told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

"Therefore we are calling on political parties to set quotas for people with an immigrant background to address the problem of underrepresentation," he said.

Germany is home to around 3 million Turkish people, who constitute the largest immigrant population. Currently, 11 out of 631 lawmakers at the Bundestag have Turkish roots.

Sofuoglu said the upcoming Sept. 24 elections were unlikely to change things.

"I do not expect a big increase in the number of Turkish-origin lawmakers," Sofuoğlu said.

"This time, we have many more candidates with an immigrant background. But many of them do not have good chances of entering parliament, as they are disadvantaged by lower list position," he said.

On Sept. 24, more than 4,800 candidates will contest to obtain a seat in the parliament. Among them, around 100 candidates are of Turkish origin, and most of them are members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), The Left Party, or The Greens.

The previous general election in Germany saw the number of lawmakers with Turkish roots almost double at the Bundestag, increasing from five lawmakers in 2009 to eleven in 2013.

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