To what extent does the “Turkish vote” matter in German elections? Can one speak of a unified Turkish vote? Is the Turkish minority adequately represented in proportion to its share in the population? What are the mistakes Turkey made in its policy towards Germany’s Turkish minority? What are the implications of the 2009 elections for German-Turkish relations and Turkey’s pursuit of EU membership? What are the future political prospects of Germany’s Turkish minority?
The historic victory of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1998, and the reign of the SPD-Green coalition government under the leadership of Gerhard Schröder between 1998 and 2005, represented the political constellation most favorable to the interests of the Turkish minority in Germany. This was when the historic citizenship reform of 1999 was passed, allowing for an ever increasing number of second and third generation Turkish immigrants to acquire German citizenship. However, the government’s failure to allow for dual citizenship was a major