Hannover elects first German mayor of Turkish origin

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By Euronews
Hannover elects first German mayor of Turkish origin
Copyright  Belit Onay/belit-onay.de

The German city of Hannover became the first regional capital and the first city in the country to elect a mayor of Turkish origin on Sunday, in a powerful symbol for German citizens of Turkish immigration descent.

Belit Onay, of Die Grünen, the German Green party, won 52.9 % of the vote against the CDU candidate Eckhard Scholz, who got to 47.1%.

Hannover is the fourth large city in Germany after Freiburg, Darmstadt and Stuttgart in which a "Grüner", a politician of the Green Party, has become mayor.

The former mayor, the Social Democrats' Stefan Schostok, resigned earlier this year.

Onay, a lawyer by profession, has served as an MP in the Lower Saxony Parliament since 2013, and before that had been a city councillor since 2011.

The 38-year-old new mayor was born in Goslar, Lower Saxony, to Turkish parents who emigrated from Istanbul to Germany in the 1970s.

Earlier on Sunday, as Hannover was voting, Onay shared photos of himself and his wife going to the polls.

Germany hosts almost 3 million people of Turkish origin. Many came after 1945 as "guest workers" and settled in the country.

Germany's Turkish population is the second-largest Turkish population in the world, after Turkey itself.