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Cem Özdemir

Cem Özdemir

Born December 21, 1965 (1965-12-21) (age 44)
Bad Urach, Germany
Political party Alliance '90/The Greens
Religion Islam

Cem Özdemir (born 21 December 1965, Bad Urach) is a German politician. He is the co-leader (with Claudia Roth) of the German party Alliance '90/The Greens. He is a former Member of Parliament and currently a Member of the European Parliament for his party.[1]


Political career

Cem Özdemir has been member of the German Green Party since 1981.[2] From 1989 to 1994, he was a member of the Party's regional council for the federal state of Baden-Württemberg.[2] He was elected to the Bundestag (German Parliament) in 1994[2], thus the first German-born second-generation immigrant to be a representative in the Bundestag. From 1998 until 2002, Özdemir was the Green Party's Parliamentary Spokesman on Domestic Affairs and chairman of the German-Turkish Parliamentary Group.[2]

Özdemir's measured critique of Muslim culture in Germany together with his advocacy for better education for immigrants' and Turkey's EU membership bid has put him in conflict with people at both ends of the spectrum on Islam's role—both hard-line Imams and secular critics of German Islamists.[1]

In 2008, Özdemir became the designated (male) party leader of the Greens.[1]

He has been referred to as 'Germany's Obama', albeit mostly outside of the country.[3]

Personal life

Cem Özdemir descends from ethnic Circassians from Turkey. His parents immigrated to Germany in the 1960s. He gained German citizenship in 1983. Özdemir is married to German-Argentine journalist Pia Maria Castro, with whom he has a daughter - Mia Rasha. Özdemir describes himself as a secular Muslim.[1]

He was voted the best dressed German politician for the year 2005.[4]


  • Currywurst und Döner – Integration in Deutschland
  • Ich bin Inländer (autobiography)
  • Die Türkei: Politik, Religion, Kultur


  1. ^ a b c d McGroarty, Patrick (2008-11-15). "Özdemir set to win prominence in German politics". Today's Zaman. Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-11-15.  
  2. ^ a b c d Biography, official site (German)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Cem Özdemir - politics beyond ethnic terms, BBC Languages.

External links



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