Dava, a party for Muslim Germans, on track for the European elections

Dava, a party for Muslim Germans, on track for the European elections

Dava will be able to participate in the European elections on June 9. This new political movement far exceeded the 4,000 voter signatures needed to participate in the ballot: it obtained 10,000. Created last January, the Democratic Alliance for Diversity and Renewal (Dava) presents itself as the voice of the “people of foreign origin” and says he wants “fill a void for those who do not feel represented in politics”. Founded by three Germans of Turkish origin, it “denounces inequalities of treatment and dysfunctions in society” and says he wants “ensure that people of foreign origin have their rights recognized in full”.

In a country with 5.5 million Muslims, 40% of whom have German nationality, and in the absence in Germany of a minimum threshold for having elected representatives, Dava could achieve its first objective as early as June: obtaining one, or even two, elected to the European Parliament next June.

Conservative on values

This new party advocates, among other things, compulsory schooling for all children from the upper kindergarten section in order to ensure the learning of the German language and presents itself as a movement “conservative in terms of values”promoting the “traditional vision of the family”, made up of a man and a woman. Regretting that Germany loses “his Christian values”, this young group does not hide the importance it attaches to the Muslim religion. Her name, dawa in Arabic, a term regularly used in Turkey by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, refers to a certain form of religious proselytism.

What exactly are the links between Dava and the Turkish authoritarian regime? This question has been the subject of much discussion since the birth of the movement. “The personalities at the head of Dava are very clearly Erdogan’s men,” says Eren Güvercin, Islam expert and member of the Alhambra Society. Thus, Fatih Zingal, head of the Dava party list, is known for having relayed the various electoral campaigns in Germany of the Turkish AKP party. Number two, Ali Ihsan Ünlü, is an official of the religious organization Ditib, financed by the Turkish state and which manages 900 mosques in Germany. As for Mustafa Yoldas, one of the founders, he is part of the “milli görüs” movement, the main organization of political Islam in Turkey. “Between the three of them, they cover a wide variety of Turkey’s religious, conservative and nationalist electorate,” notes Eren Güvercin.

Fear of foreign interference

Barely created, Dava is the subject of numerous criticisms. For the elected Christian Democrat Michael Stübgen, the intelligence services must “look closely at the activities” of this new training which “will act exclusively in the direction of its parent party, in Türkiye”. His colleague Thorsten Frei, for his part, says he is reinforced in his opposition to the recent change in the right to nationality from which more than two million people of Turkish origin could ultimately benefit. “Changing nationality law becomes a new gateway for foreign influence on German politics,” believes this elected official.

For its part, the Dava party denies any logistical or financial support from Turkey and denounces a campaign of “defamation” and an “targeted obstruction of the political activity of German citizens with a migrant background”. For his part, expert Eren Güvercin calls not to “overestimate the danger that Dava represents”. “I remain skeptical about his capacity, in terms of personnel, to establish himself in the German political landscape, particularly at the national level,” he judges. This political scientist fears, however, that Dava “imposes a narrative on young Turks” according to which “they cannot be represented by any traditional party”. “This could be fatal in the medium term,” he believes.

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