Turkish community expresses fears of racism after state polls
"The elections in Brandenburg and Saxony make it clear that racism has increased again in the new states. All of society should be shaken by the results. The other democratic parties should finally stop letting the agenda be dictated by right-wing ideologies," Gökay Sofuoğlu, head of umbrella group the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD), said on Monday.
"The elections in Brandenburg and Saxony make it clear that racism has increased again in the new states," Gökay Sofuoğlu, head of umbrella group the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD), said on Monday.
The "new states" refer to the five eastern German states that used to make up the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Sofuoğlu said all of society should be shaken by the results, and that "the other democratic parties should finally stop letting the agenda be dictated by right-wing ideologies."
The AfD won 27.5 per cent of the vote in the state election in Saxony on Sunday, making it the second-strongest party behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
In Brandenburg, the AfD also came in second place with 23.5 per cent behind the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).
During the campaign, the head of the AfD in Brandenburg, Andreas Kalbitz, often spoke about cultural identity, using phrases such as "this is the homeland of the German people, not just any people" and "we are setting a course that makes homeland mean homeland again."
The Turkish community warned against "trivializing" the election results.
"We have to make it clear that an open and diverse society is not a burden that occurs as a result of migration, but an opportunity to bravely rethink traditional systems and procedures and to pave the way for equal opportunities for everyone living in Germany," the TGD said in a statement.
Joerg Meuthen, the AfD's party leader, responded to the comments saying his party did not exclude migrants in general.
"We simply stand in categorical and very clear opposition to illegal migration," he said.