5 Turks to hold office in new European Parliament

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Turkish Cypriot MEP Niyazi Kızılyürek

Five candidates of Turkish descent have won seats in European Parliament (EP) in elections held May 23 to 26, Euronews Turkish service reported on Monday.

Most notable among them was Niyazi Kızılyürek, who will be the first Turkish Cypriot to serve in the EP. The 59-year-old author and professor of political history was nominated by the main opposition Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL).

Turkish-born Özlem Alev Demirel, known for her advocacy of Kurdish human rights issues, was elected from the ranks of the German Left-wing Die Linke.

İsmail Ertuğ, a former health insurance consultant fielded by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), was among those who secured a seat in the parliament. He was re-elected for a third term.

Banker and businessperson Engin Eroğlu was elected from the ranks of Free Voters (Freie Wähler) in Germany.

Another elected MP with Turkish origins was Agnès Evren, who was nominated by France’s center-right The Republicans (LR).

Ayhan Tonca, fielded by the “Denk” movement in the Netherlands, failed to get elected. His group is often criticized for having close ties to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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