Two Êzîdî Kurds are standing as candidates in municipal elections in Herford, Germany. Erdal Ekinci and Nazım Acar said that their priority is to increase Kurdish lessons in schools in the city where five thousand Kurds live.
Murat Mang, in Özgür Politika, interviewed the two candidates who are standing as part of the “Kurdish Alliance for Integration and Cultural Diversity” (it includes, amongst its members, Êzîdîs, Alevis, Christians, Jews, Muslims and members of other ethnic minorities and campaigns under the slogan: ‘For a common Herford’).
Erdal Ekinci has been working politically within the SDP for 12 years. He said: “I am a candidate for the Herford Immigration Council in these elections in order to serve our people. We will serve people from all religions and identities without discrimination, and we will stand by them. For years, immigrants have been deprived of the municipality’s services. Now, our people should participate in the election and use their vote to say that we are here and count, too”.
Ekinci added: “We are going to the elections with a 5-person democratic list. If we are elected, we will listen to our people first. We will conduct projects related to their demands. We will initiate teaching in the Kurdish language in other schools. It is currently taught in just one school in the city of Herford. We will organize cultural and sports activities for young people”.
Nazım Acar, the other candidate, states that Herford Immigration Council has been under the control of the Turkish-Islamic Union of Religious Affairs (DITIB), and it has had detrimental impacts upon some minorities: “Herford Immigration Council has 10 seats, which we are seeking to become members of via the elections. The Council has been mainly, thus far, been under the control of DITIB. Only they have benefited from the assembly, both in financial and political terms”.
Acar invites all people, especially the five thousand Kurds living in Herford, to vote for them.