Aygül Özkan, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party, was recently appointed the minister of social affairs. Özkan was born in Hamburg and is the daughter of Turkish guest workers who arrived in Germany in the 1960s.
Özkan does not want to be seen as a “token immigrant” in the world of politics, and yet she belongs to a party which is not widely supported by Turkish members of the population. The article states that the CDU “urgently needs politicians like Özkan whom immigrants can relate to.” No matter her wishes, Özkan’s race will likely continue to play a role in her career. Interestingly, after her appointment to her ministry position, integration policy matters were transferred over to her department. It seems clear that Özkan has been given these duties because they relate specifically to the fact of her Turkish background.