Voters in the German state of Hesse are voting after a campaign that was highlighted by vicious attacks against Turkish immigrants. Sparked by the virulent anti-immigrant rantings of Roland Koch, the electorate has been told all problems in Hesse are the result of the presence of young Turkish immigrants who commit crimes and cause fear among people. There are about one million immigrants in Hesse and at least 250,000 are Turks. It is estimated 40,000 Turks have obtained the right to vote and they undoubtely will support candidates who oppose the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Koch.
Perhaps, it is time for Turkish immigrants to Germany to learn the lesson that immigrants to America grasped over a hundred years ago. Register to vote, get involved in politics, run people from your group for public office and gain electoral clout that forces those in authority to listen to your concerns. Immigrants who stand on the side and refuse to engage in political action only damage their own interests. Vote and the Roland Kochs of Germany will be silenced.