Cemile Giousouf

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Cemile Giousouf
Personal details
Born (1978-05-05) May 5, 1978 (age 38)
Leverkusen, Germany
Citizenship German, Greek
Political party Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
Alma mater University of Bonn
Occupation Politician
Religion Islam
Website cemile-giousouf.de

Cemile Giousouf (/ˈɛmɪlɛ ˈjuːsf/; born May 5, 1978 in Leverkusen, Germany) (Greek: Τζεμιλέ Γιουσούφ) (Turkish: Cemile Yusuf) is a German politician of Turkish ethnicity. She is the first ever Muslim member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), elected into the Bundestag in 2013.

Early years[edit]

She was born on May 5, 1978 in Leverkusen to ethnic Turkish Gastarbeiter parents, who immigrated in the 1970s from Greece, where they lived as a minority in Western Thrace. Soon after her birth, she was sent back to her uncle in Greece and at the age of two, Giousouf returned to her family in Germany and she has a brother. The members of her immigrant family spoke Turkish as well as Greek at home as their native languages denoting their ethnic ancestry and original nationality, in addition to German, being naturalised and second-generation born citizens, in addition to her German citizenship, she holds also the Greek one.[1][2]

Education and early career[edit]

Following the completion of her high school education in Leverkusen with Abitur, Giousouf studied political science, social science and Islamic science at the University of Bonn.[2]

In 2008, Giousouf was employed as consultant in the State Ministry of Generations, Family, Women and Integration of North Rhine-Westphalia under the leadership of State Minister Armin Laschet. At the ministry, she was in charge of the "Women with Immigration History" dossier. From 2009 on, she served as consultant in the Department of Integration at the Ministry of Integration and Social Welfare of the same state.[2]

Political career[edit]

During her university years, Giousouf was active in the German-Turkish Forum, a subordinate organization of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).[3] In 2008, she was elected vice chairperson of the organization's North Rhine-Westphalia branch, to which she belonged since 2004. She was also active in the CDU's several other local organizations as well as in the city administration of Aachen.[2]

With fashionable ponytails, hipster horn-rimmed glasses, and dressed in black Cemile Giousouf looks like the CDU as a whole would be like to be seen: urban, contemporary, elegant. The Muslim woman came to the Christian Democratic Union 15 years ago... As for the "C" [Christian] in the party name, she says "every child, regardless of religion, skin color and origin" should have the same chances in Germany.[4]

Giousouf entered CDU's federal-level organization in 2011, where she was active on integration matters. On June 30, 2012, she was elected to the executive board of CDU state organization in North Rhine-Westphalia.[2]

In 2013, the local organization of CDU in Hagen nominated Giousouf for the federal elections.[5] In the next two preliminary inner-party elections, she was able to make her way for the federal election as direct candidate in the Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis District in September 2013. She is the first ever Muslim politician of the CDU elected into the Bundestag.[2][3][6][7]

In parliament, Giousouf is a member of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment. In this capacity, she is her parliamentary group’s rapporteur on state-funded scholarship schemes and the validation of foreign studies and degrees.

Other activities[edit]

  • Avicenna-Studienwerk, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Council of Muslim Students and Academics (RAMSA), Member of the Board of Trustees[8]
  • Green Helmets, Member of the Board of Trustees[9]
  • Internationaler Bund (IB), Member of the Federal Counselling Committee[10]


  1. ^ "Eine besondere Politikerin". Leverkusener Anzeiger (in German). 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Die Türöffnerin". taz (in German). 2013-04-14. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  3. ^ a b "So etwas hat es in der CDU noch nie gegeben". Die Welt (in German). 2013-03-10. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  4. ^ "Cemile Giousouf: Die Hipster-Muslimin der CDU (Cemile Giousouf: The Hipster Muslim of the CDU)". Norddeutscher Rundfunk (in German). 2016-07-18. Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  5. ^ "Eine Aachenerin will nach Berlin...". Aachener Zeitung (in German). 2013-01-23. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  6. ^ "Cemile Giousouf soll als erste Muslimin für die NRW-CDU in den Bundestag". WAZ (in German). 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  7. ^ "Giousouf ist die erste muslimische CDU-Abgeordnete". Die Welt (in German). 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  8. ^ Board of Trustees Council of Muslim Students and Academics (RAMSA).
  9. ^ Board of Trustees Green Helmets.
  10. ^ Federal Counselling Committee Internationaler Bund (IB).