German-Turkish voters deciding the election outcome?

While greater political particpation of immigrants is overall a good thing, I don’t really like this:

More than a half-million German-Turkish voters are eligible to go to the polls in federal elections this weekend. They overwhelmingly support the Social Democrats, and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has put Turkish voters at the front of his campaign this week.

This week, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder paid a visit to the editorial offices and printing plant of the Dogan Media Group, the German arm of Turkey’s largest media conglomerate. …

It was one of Schröder’s easier campaign stops. After all, his challenger, Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats (CDU), in contrast, has alienated Turkish voters with her aggressive opposition to EU membership for Ankara.

But the most telling statistic is the growth in the number of Turkish voters in Germany. Slowly they are emerging as a powerful minority voting bloc. Since 1972, 666,000 of the former “guest workers” who came to help rebuild Germany during the economic miracle that followed World War II have become naturalized citizens. And that pharmacies number has surged in recent years under a new citizenship law that permits Turks born in Germany to apply for citizenship when they turn 18. By most estimates, more than half-million Turkish-Germans will be eligible to vote in Sunday’s election — a crucial voting block in an election in which 30 percent of Germans remain undecided. In its above-the-fold headline on Wednesday, the mass-circulation Bild newspaper asked: “Will the Turks Determine the Election?”

The rest of the article is worth reading, too.

What I like least about the whole issue is that the question of Turkish EU membership might end up deciding the outcome of German elections. Then again, at least Turkish voters are going to vote following direct self-interest or nationalism, and not out of allegiance to Islamist organizations. Rather, the relationship between Germany and Turkey is a lot like that between the United States and Mexico. While annoying, this is vastly preferable to having Islamic hordes flooding Europe, as some American commentators and bloggers claim is happening.

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