Aydan Özoğuz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Aydan Özoğuz
Aydan Özoğuz April 2016 (26404237745) (cropped).jpg
Minister of State for Migration, Refugees and Integration
In office
17 December 2013 – 14 March 2018
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byMaria Böhmer
Succeeded byAnnette Widmann-Mauz
Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic Party
In office
6 December 2011 – 7 December 2017
Serving with Ralf Stegner, Manuela Schwesig, Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel and Olaf Scholz
Preceded byFrank-Walter Steinmeier
Peer Steinbrück
Andrea Nahles
Succeeded byMalu Dreyer
Member of the Bundestag
Assumed office
27 September 2007
Member of the Hamburg Parliament
In office
23 September 2001 – 24 February 2008
Personal details
Born (1967-05-31) 31 May 1967 (age 51)
Hamburg, West Germany
Political partySocial Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
Spouse(s)Michael Neumann
RelationsHakan Özoğuz and Gökhan Özoğuz (Athena)
ChildrenHanna (daughter)
Alma materUniversity of Hamburg

Aydan Özoğuz (About this sound listen , born 31 May 1967) is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). She has been a member of the Bundestag since 2009 and served as deputy chairperson of the party from 2011 until 2017. She also served as Commissioner for Immigration, Refugees and Integration at the rank of Minister of State in the third government of Chancellor Angela Merkel from 2013 until 2018.

Early years[edit]

Özoğuz was born on 31 May 1967 in Finkenau, Hamburg to Turkish parents, who came to Germany in 1958. She grew up in Hamburg-Lokstedt. Her parents later went into their own food business. Özoğuz acquired German citizenship in 1989. She has two brothers, Yavuz and Gürhan.[1]

She finished her high school education in 1986 with Abitur. Following her studies in English Major and Spanish and Human Resources Management in minor, she completed a master's degree in 1994. During her university years, she was member of the Turkish Student Society in Hamburg, and served as its chairperson for two years.[1]


Since 1994, Özoğuz was research fellow in the Körber Foundation as project manager of "Coordination of New Projects" with focus on German-Turkish projects. From 1996 on, Özoğuz conducted projects in the field of Youth and Science Exchange as well as academic conferences on issues of international relations. With her election into Bundestag, she was exempted from her post at the Körber Foundation.

Between 2001 and 2008, Özoğuz was member of the Hamburg Parliament. She was appointed speaker of the parliamentary group of SPD for migration policies and member of the committees of interior affairs, petitions and family.[1]

In 2004, Özoğuz joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). She is the first ever Turkish descent woman in the SPD leadership as deputy chairperson.[1]

Member of the Bundestag, 2009–present[edit]

Özoğuz first entered the Bundestag at the 2009 German federal election. She became a member of the Committee on Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. She served also in the Committee of Inquiry for internet and the digital society. On 2 March 2010, the SPD parliamentary group appointed her commissioner of the group for integration.[1]

Özoğuz was re-elected in the 2013 election, gaining the constituency of Hamburg Wandsbek. She is one of the eleven politicians of Turkish descent who won a seat in the Bundestag, including seven women.[2]

Since 2018, Özoğuz has been a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and on the Committee on Human Rights and Humantarian Aid.

Federal Commissioner for Immigration, Refugees and Integration, 2013–2018[edit]

On 16 December 2013, Özoğuz was appointed Commissioner for Immigration, Refugees and Integration (German: Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration) in the third Merkel cabinet, succeeding Maria Böhmer (CDU). She was the first ever woman with Turkish roots and Muslim member of the German Federal Government as Minister of State.[3][4][5]

In April 2015, Özoğuz accompanied German President Joachim Gauck on a state visit to Turkey. In September 2015, amid the European migrant crisis, she joined Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel on a trip to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan to learn more about the plight of Syrians fleeing from Syrian civil war which erupted in 2011.[6]

In May 2017, Özoğuz wrote a guest commentary in the newspaper Tagesspiegel in which she stated that a specific German culture "aside from the language is simply not identifiable", as "already historically, rather regional cultures, immigration and diversity have shaped our history". She added that "Globalisation and pluralisation of lifeworlds leads to a further diversification of diversity."[7]

Political positions[edit]

Human rights[edit]

In August 2012, Özoğuz was one of 124 members of the Bundestag to sign a letter that was sent to the Russian ambassador to Germany, Vladimir Grinin, expressing concern over the trial against the three members of Pussy Riot. “Being held in detention for months and the threat of lengthy punishment are draconian and disproportionate,” the lawmakers said in the letter. “In a secular and pluralist state, peaceful artistic acts – even if they can be seen as provocative – must not lead to the accusation of serious criminal acts that lead to lengthy prison terms.”[8][9]

Other activities[edit]

  • Avicenna-Studienwerk, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Charta der Vielfalt, Ex-officio Member of the Board
  • Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), Member of the Board of Trustees[10]
  • Forum gegen Rassismus, Ex-officio Member of the Board
  • German Association for Public and Private Welfare, Ex-officio Member of the Central Committee
  • German Foundation of School Sports, Ex-officio Member of the Board of Trustees
  • German Historical Museum, Deputy Member of the Board of the Trustees (since 2010)
  • Foundation for History of Federal Republic of Germany, Deputy Member of the Board of the Trustees (German: Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland).[1]
  • German Committee of Youth For Understanding, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • German-Palestinian Society, Member of the Advisory Board (since 2018)
  • Hamburg Foundation for Migrants, Member of the Advisory Board
  • Muslim Academy in Germany(German: Muslimische Akademie in Deutschland), Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Urban Future Forum, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz, Ex-officio Member of the Advisory Board (2013-2018)[11]
  • Civis Media Prize, Ex-officio Member of the Board of Trustees (2013-2018)
  • German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR), Ex-officio Member of the Board of Trustees (2013-2018)
  • Deutschlandstiftung Integration, Ex-officio Member of the Board (2013-2018)
  • Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Member of the Broadcasting Board (2009–2013)
  • Islamisches Wissenschafts- und Bildungsinstitut, Member of the Board of Trustees (2004–2009)
  • BürgerStiftung Hamburg, Member of the Board of Trustees (2006–2009)

Personal life[edit]

Özoğuz is married to Michael Neumann, Senator of Interior Affairs from SPD in the state government of Hamburg, and has a daughter, Hanna.[1][12][13]

Her brothers Yavuz Özoğuz and Gürhan Özoğuz, both staunch and avowed admirers of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hizballah, run the Islamist internet site Muslim-Markt.[14] Aydan Özoğuz distanced herself from her brothers on their radical Islamist viewpoints in a newspaper interview in October 2011.[15]

Her twin cousins Hakan Özoğuz and Gökhan Özoğuz are part of the ska punk band Athena from Istanbul, Turkey.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Aydan Özoğuz, SPD" (in German). Deutscher Bundestag. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Almanya'da federal meclise girmeyi başaran Türk kökenli vekiller". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 23 September 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Türkische Gemeinde begrüßt Özoğuz' Ernennung". Zeit Online (in German). 16 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Erste Frau mit türkischen Wurzeln am Kabinettstisch". Die Welt (in German). 16 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Aydan Özoguz wird Integrationsministerin". SWR International (in German). 16 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  6. ^ Annekarin Lammers (22 September 2015), Gabriel in Flüchtlingslager in Jordanien: "Demütig wird man hier" Tagesschau.
  7. ^ "Keine deutsche Kultur", in Bayernkurier (german). Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  8. ^ Henry Meyer (8 August 2012), Madonna Urges Freedom for Anti-Putin Punk Girls at Concert Bloomberg News.
  9. ^ Appell aus dem Bundestag: Deutsche Abgeordnete fordern Milde für Pussy Riot Spiegel Online, 7 August 2012.
  10. ^ Board of Trustees Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES)-
  11. ^ Advisory Board Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz.
  12. ^ "Neumann wegen Verwandtschaft in der Kritik". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  13. ^ a b Veit, Sven-Michael and Eva Weikert (8 January 2005). "Freiheit. Feigheit. Multikulti". taz (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Aydan Özoğuz'a 'kardeş' suçlaması". Sabah (in Turkish). 30 October 2011. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  15. ^ "SPD-Politikerin Özoguz distanziert sich von radikal-islamischen Brüdern". Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 30 October 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2013.