German politics has its first party leader of ethnic origin. The Green Party has elected as one of its co-chairmen Cem Ozdemir, the German-born son of Turkish immigrants. It may not be a landmark moment of Barack Obama proportions but in European politics, party leaders from ethnic minorities remain very rare.
Ozdemir will the share the leadership of the Greens with Claudia Roth and if the party performs well in next year’s election, he could even be in the running for a cabinet post in a coalition government. Ozdemir says he wants to use his new position to improve cultural integration in Germany, where some 18 percent of the population are immigrants or children of immigrants.