Dava Party of Erdogan loyalists: “AfD the Turkish way” or “overrated”? | EUROtoday

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DThe abbreviation Dava issues the Republic. It stands for Democratic Alliance for Diversity and Awakening and describes a brand new voters' affiliation that can quickly grow to be an actual occasion. Dava desires to run within the European elections in June with prime candidate Fatih Zingal, a Turkish-born lawyer from Hesse and former SPD member. Mehmet Teyfik Özcan, additionally from Hesse and a former Social Democrat, serves as chairman.

A WELT investigation into the individuals and constructions behind it reveals that Dava helps the course of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – that’s, the course of an authoritarian nationalist and Islamist who kinds a coalition with right-wing extremists. From the very starting, Dava was confronted with the accusation of being the prolonged arm of Erdogan's Islamic-conservative ruling occasion, the AKP. Dava boss Özcan has rejected this.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

WELT requested a number of politicians of Turkish origin from numerous events for his or her assessments. It's about what impression they’ve of Dava and the main individuals, how they assess the possibilities of this new voter initiative and the way the established events ought to react to it. Basically, these surveyed see a closeness to the AKP and Erdogan's politics – and a few even draw a connection to the AfD.

“We see that one in five Germans would be willing to vote for a right-wing extremist, nationalist, misogynistic, homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic party like the AfD,” explains SPD Bundestag member Derya Türk-Nachbaur. “It should therefore not surprise us that the Dava party founders are hoping for a certain vote potential in an 'AfD alaturka' with a mix of similar topics” – i.e. an “AfD in the Turkish style”. However, that is “far from a guarantee” of success.

Frédéric Schwilden met Dava founder – “What can they achieve? I don’t think much.”

The newly founded Islamic voters' association Dava wants to take part in the European elections in June. It is believed that Turkish President Erdogan and his AKP are behind the unification. Editor Frédéric Schwilden reports on WELT TV about his meeting with the founder of Dava.

Source: WELT TV / Frédéric Schwilden

She perceives Dava as a political movement “that is strongly oriented towards supporting Turkish President Erdogan. This pool of representatives of the Milli Görüs and Gray Wolves should be monitored very closely.” The parliamentarian from Baden-Württemberg warns that “not only the financing, but also any possible political influence by Erdogan should be constantly examined.”

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Fatih Zingal

It hits her very exhausting that folks with a historical past of immigration in Germany “no longer feel represented by the SPD to the same extent as before. That has to make us sit up and take notice.” Türk-Nachbaur due to this fact sees it as a job “to intensify the dialogue with citizens with a migration background, to listen to them carefully and to explain our policies.”

Güler attracts parallels to the AfD

The CDU Bundestag member Serap Güler from North Rhine-Westphalia additionally sees a parallel to the AfD: “Like the AfD, the Dava uses a victim narrative that people of Turkish origin are excluded in Germany – unfortunately this falls on open ears among many.” It would use the potential “ “Don't overestimate it, but definitely don't underestimate it.” Dava benefits from German reporting, which confirms the accusation of exclusion from the officials' point of view.

Christian Democrat Güler warns that the established parties “need to advertise more specifically to voters in these communities. They are our citizens, part of our society – even if they voted for Erdogan in the Turkish elections. Just as we are fighting to bring back many AfD voters, we should do the same with this group.”

The Vice President of the Bundestag, Aydan Özoguz (SPD), warns that there are “already several new foundations that will greatly fragment the party landscape and make political work very difficult.” Right now, “all democratic parties are called upon to provide parties like the AfD with right-wing extremist content and members.”

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Serap Güler (CDU), Aydan Özoguz (SPD) and Cem Özdemir (Green)

For the previous Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, it’s nonetheless unclear what particular political calls for Dava represents and whether or not she shall be profitable. Some of the main persons are identified by organizations which can be very near the AKP. “Established parties cannot and should not work on every new party that emerges. But you should look very closely at what frustrations such associations or parties are looking at and what loopholes they want to exploit,” warns Özoguz.

Seyran Papo, CDU member of the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament, explains that she is glad when individuals with a migration background actively train their democratic rights and in addition become involved in events. “I am critical when leading figures themselves raise doubts about their loyalty to the constitution. We also don’t need any indirect influence from foreign forces on politics in Germany and Europe,” mentioned Papo. She would love the opinions of individuals with a migration background to be exchanged “even more widely in the established middle parties”.

“Attraction is overrated”

The SPD member of the Bundestag Macit Karaahmetoglu (SPD) reminds us of earlier unsuccessful makes an attempt by small Turkish events and warns in opposition to exaggerations at Dava. “I think the appeal is currently being overestimated,” says the lawyer from Baden-Württemberg. Given the present development of recent small events, Dava will “certainly be able to get a few people to vote”. But he “doesn’t believe that the party – if it is founded – will be of great relevance. Even Erdogan and AKP voters that I speak to mostly vote social democratic-liberal, a small number conservative.” Dava will “most likely achieve election results of less than one percent”.

For Karaahmetoglu, the proximity to the AKP amongst a number of Dava representatives “cannot be dismissed”. At the identical time, the Social Democrat emphasizes that he “doesn't think much of labels like 'Turkish AfD' or 'Erdogan Party'. With such an almost hysterical reaction, we are making Dava much bigger than the association currently is.”

“Erdogan recognized that many German Turks did not feel accepted”

The Turkish Islamist DAVA party wants to take part in the European elections. That would be Erdogan's second lever for forming opinions in Germany. Turkey correspondent Carolina Drüten talks about DAVA's goals and prospects for success.

Source: WELT TV/Carolina Drüten

Green Party member of the Bundestag Canan Bayram is also skeptical. Previous attempts with small Turkish parties have remained rather meaningless and could have played “no relevant role” in elections. “In this respect, I cannot see that such 'niche offers' can develop as competition to established parties,” says Bayram from Berlin. The actors are “largely unknown outside their bubbles and rather inconspicuous”.

The former left-wing politician Sevim Dagdelen, who as a member of the Bundestag belongs to the brand new Sahra Wagenknecht alliance, nonetheless, finds drastic phrases: “Dava de facto acts like a foreign mission of the Islamist-fascist AKP/MHP coalition in Turkey and apparently aims to mobilize AKP supporters as well as the Gray Wolves in Germany.” The denial of the Armenian genocide is a part of this unifying reactionary ideology.

In this context, Dagdelen complains in regards to the “blockade” by Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) in imposing a Bundestag decision from 2020 to ban the right-wing extremist organizations of the “Gray Wolves”. German authorities coverage has “through its coddling with Erdogan and by supporting Islamist mosque associations like Ditib, helped to strengthen the very structures from which this party apparently intends to draw in order to establish the AKP strategy of a secondary foreign policy.”

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