BILD: Erdoğan's party is establishing a German branch with the aim of participating in the European elections

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is establishing a party - a branch of the AKP in Germany, with the aim of participating in the European elections in June, according to a publication of the BILD newspaper. The country's political world is already reacting.

As BILD reports, the party will be called DAVA ("Democratic Alliance for Diversity and Awakening") and its four leading candidates are already known: Hamburg doctor Mustafa Yoldas, who is registered by the federal interior ministry as a supporter of Hamas and its affiliated organisations; also doctor Ali Ihsan Ünlü from Lower Saxony, member of the local organisation DITIB, which is under the direct control of the Turkish Ministry of Religious Affairs; lawyer Fatih Zingal from North Rhine-Westphalia, a former member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which he left to deal with the promotion of the AKP in Europe; and the self-proclaimed human rights activist Teyfik Özcan, who will likely also be the leader of DAVA.

According to the party's founding declaration cited by the German newspaper, DAVA demands that people of foreign origin obtain full rights, pointing out that very often, "when looking for apartments or work, but also in many everyday situations, such as communicating with the authorities, they feel that they are not accepted as full members of European society."

The party also aims to combat child poverty and the problems of old age by calling for additional social benefits and calls for "a pragmatic and non-ideological refugee policy."

The first to react was the Turkish origin and staunch critic of Erdoğan, Federal Minister of Agricultural Economy Cem Özdemir (Greens), commenting on the "X" platform: "An offshoot of Erdoğan, which will be a candidate in the elections here is the last thing we need."

On the SPD side, co-president Saskia Esken told WELT TV that "it is important to make it clear to our fellow citizens of Turkish origin that Germany is united, that we are one people and that we will not allow forces like these to come to power far-right networks that want to deport immigrants, but the divisive tendencies of a Tayyip Erdoğan don't play a role here."

The vice-president of the Parliamentary Group of the Christian Union (CDU/CSU), Jens Spahn, warned in his post on "X" that "something like this would be another extreme party in our country", while the CDU's head of internal policy Christoph de Vries he told Sunday's BILD that the federal government "must under no circumstances take the case of establishing such a party lightly."

It is urgent that the security services closely monitor this party's activities and its connections with the Turkish government to intervene if Ankara exerts direct influence.

The lists of candidates for the European elections must be submitted by March 18. In European elections, there is no 5% limit, as there is in Germany, but anyway, as BILD points out, such a party could appeal to a pool of around 5 million voters.

There are currently 2.5 million voting Muslims in Germany, and when the citizenship law is changed next April, about that many more will be added.

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