By Hambersom Aghbashian
Sevim Dağdelen (born in September 4, 1975 in Duisburg- Germany) is a German politician of Turkish origin and a member of the German Left Party (die Linkspartei). She is the Left party’s migration policy spokesperson. Sevim Dağdelen finished her high school in 1997, and studied law at the University of Marburg, then at the Adelaide University, Australia, and later at the University of Cologne. She worked as a journalist for the Turkish newspaper Evrensel and German publications Tatsachen and Junge Stimme. After joining the Left Party, Dağdelen became a member of the regional-level party council of North Rhine-Westphalia and the federal student agency from 1996-1998. From 1993-2001, she was a member of the federal youth commission. In 2012 Dağdelen faced criticism for signing a controversial pamphlet accusing the U.S. of preparing war against Syria and Iran. She is also the only politician to have visited Julian Assange where he remains at the Embassy of Ecuador in the United Kingdom.
Since 2005, she has been a member of the German Bundestag, and was re-elected for the third time in 2013 election. Sevim Dağdelen is one of the eleven politicians of Turkish descent, including seven women, who won a seat in the federal parliament.
On May 20, 2016, sputniknews.com wrote: “A proposed resolution calling on the German government to recognize the early 20th-century Ottoman Empire’s violence against the Armenians as genocide is important, as it may put an end to Turkey’s policy of denial, lawmaker from Germany’s Left Party Sevim Dağdelen told Sputnik Turkey.” Dağdelen was interviewed by sputniknews where she said also “I believe that this resolution is very important, because it can play a major role in the rejection of Turkey’s Genocide denial policy,”(1)
In an interview with news.am on May 28, 2016, Sevim Dağdelen said “During the last 100 years denial ( of the Armenian Genocide) was practically the policy of the state expediency in Germany. Ever since MP Karl Liebknecht raised the issue of the Armenian Genocide in Reichstag in 1916, it has been the policy of the state. The then Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg had the motto: ‘We need to keep Turkey with us until the end of the war, even if Armenians die because of it.’ Nowadays, the arms supplies to Turkey continue, even if the Kurds are killed because of it”. She added “Erdogan has turned himself into a mouthpiece of those who carried out the genocide in 1915. Thus, he wants to keep control over the Islamists and nationalists to make them approve his actions.” (2)
On June 2, 2016, Rick Noack wrote in The Washington Post: The German Parliament recognized the Armenian genocide on Thursday, drawing harsh criticism from the Turkish government, which withdrew its ambassador to Germany “for consultations” after the parliamentary vote. The massacres and deportations of 1 million to 1.5 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 has been described as a genocide by more than 20 nations, including Germany’s neighbor France. Turkey has disputed the death toll and refuses to acknowledge the violence as a genocide. German lawmakers nearly unanimously voted to adopt the resolution to recognize the massacre as a genocide. Only one MP, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party, voted against it. Norbert Lammert, the president of the Bundestag, called the surprisingly clear decision “remarkable.” Lammert said that the current Turkish government was not responsible for what had happened more than a century ago, but he also urged Turkey to nevertheless reappraise the past. The Turkish government “is jointly responsible for [how the matter is handled] in the future,” Lammert said.(3) Sevim Dağdelen was one the Lawmakers who voted for the resolution.
According to turkishminute.com , June 13, 2016, “Eleven lawmakers of Turkish origin in German parliament have been put under police protection after receiving death threats over the recent “Armenian genocide” resolution, while one Turkish-German politician called for an entry ban to Germany on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to his provocative remarks against the lawmakers. According to BBC Turkish, the German Foreign Ministry warned the Turkish-German lawmakers who were targeted not to travel to Turkey, stating that their life safety cannot be guaranteed. The lawmakers were also placed under police protection.(4) Sevim Dağdelen is one those lawmakers.
Under the title “German MP calls for a travel ban on Erdogan”, DW.COM wrote on December 6, 2016: Sevim Dağdelen, a member of the Bundestag, demanded that “anyone in Turkey who calls for violence against members of the German parliament should get an entry ban” to Germany. “This includes President Erdogan,” she told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. The Duisburg-born politician has a 100,000 euro ($112,000) bounty on her head, the paper reported, following a resolution adopted by the German parliament on June 2 calling the massacre of Armenians genocide. Since the vote, Dağdelen and 10 other German MPs of Turkish origin have faced the ire of Turkish nationalists, receiving death threats and even having their personal details published in newspapers and in mosques. (5)