German city elects ethnic Turkish mayor for first time


BERLIN: Voters in Hannover, Germany have elected an ethnic Turkish politician as mayor for the first time in the city’s history, Anadolu Agency reported.

Belit Onay, a 38-year-old parliamentarian from the Green Party, claimed nearly 53 per cent of the vote in a runoff ballot Sunday, beating his rival Eckhard Scholz, an independent candidate backed by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.

Belit Onay Photo: Steffen

Onay also became the first ethnic Turkish politician to win the mayor’s office in a major German city.

During his election campaign, he promised to transform Hannover into a climate-friendly city, struggle for affordable housing and improve social cohesion.

Onay has been one of the most popular young politicians of the environmentalist and pro- immigration Green Party, which enjoys great support among voters with an immigrant background.

Germany has a 3 million-strong Turkish community, many of whom are second- and third-generation German-born citizens whose Turkish grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s. – Bernama

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