|Member of the House of Representatives|
|Assumed office |
31 March 2021
6 June 1977
Nazımiye, Tunceli, Turkey
|Political party||Independent (since 2022)|
|Democrats 66 (2009–2019)|
Volt Netherlands (2019–2022)
(m. 2015; died 2017)
Nilüfer Gündoğan (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈnilyfɛr ˈɡʏndoːɦɑn]; born 6 June 1977) is a Dutch politician, who serves as a member of the House of Representatives. She was elected to the House in the 2021 general election on behalf of Volt Netherlands. In February 2022, she was suspended from its parliamentary group following internal reports of unacceptable behavior. Gündoğan had before worked as a consultant and manager.
Early life and career
Gündoğan was born on 6 June 1977 in Nazımiye, Tunceli Province, Turkey, into an Alevi family, belonging to the Zazas. She has a brother and a sister. Her father had been a teacher in Turkey and had moved to the Netherlands as a guest worker to work in a factory. When Gündoğan was 18 months old and when her father had been in the Netherlands for five years, her family moved to the Netherlands, and she grew up in the Limburg city Weert. There, she attended the secondary school Philips van Horne at vwo level.
She moved in 1996 to Amsterdam to study medicine, but she quit in 2003 without a degree. According to Gündoğan, this was caused by her violent father. She has told that she was hospitalized in September 2001 after her father had attempted to kill her and that she subsequently fell into a depression. In the years 2005–07, she studied political science at Leiden University, but she again did not graduate. Gündoğan worked simultaneously project assistant for the municipality of Amsterdam. She held the position of strategic renewal project manager at the municipality between 2009 and 2012. Gündoğan later worked as a consultant, account manager, and interim manager at several other organizations including Rainman Group and jb Lorenz. When she was elected to the House, she also owned her own consultancy called Nilüfer Advies.
Gündoğan identifies as a social liberal and joined the political party Democrats 66 (D66) in 2009. She participated in its development program Route66 for two years and served on the board of Amsterdam's D66 wing between late 2011 and 2013. Gündoğan wanted to become D66's lijsttrekker in Amsterdam-Zuid for the 2014 elections but lost to Sebastiaan Capel.
Over the years, she became disappointed with some aspects of D66, and she joined Volt in 2019, the year after its Dutch branch was founded. Gündoğan stands for a liberal democracy and society and has warned against tampering with liberal democratic principles in the Netherlands. She has been vocal in her support for the European Union to tackle cross-border issues, including the migrant crisis, climate change, digital security, and liberal democracy. Gündoğan was the second candidate of Volt Netherlands in the 2019 European Parliament elections. The party received 1.93% of the vote, not enough to meet the threshold for a seat in the European Parliament.
House of Representatives
In the 2021 Dutch general election, Gündoğan was again placed second on Volt's party list. She had been a candidate to be the party's lijsttrekker, but this position had gone to Laurens Dassen instead in June 2020. Gündoğan received 41,352 preference votes in the election and her party won three seats. She was installed into the House of Representatives on 31 March. She is on the Committees for Defence; for Education, Culture and Science; for Finance; and for Public Expenditure. In June 2021, Gündoğan filed a motion to prohibit tobacco lobbying, but it came seven votes short of passing the House. Another proposal of her was a new tax on profit made from the sale of a house, similar to an existing one in France, in order to address rising housing prices by combatting speculation.
She wrote a letter to Speaker Vera Bergkamp with Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66), in which they called for a discussion with the House's presidium to address threatening comments made by House members of Forum for Democracy (FVD) during debates. One of the incidents they referred to occurred in 2021 when Gündoğan had complained about intimidating emails by DENK and FVD supporters. House member Gideon van Meijeren had subsequently said that he was very proud that his supporters were going all out to change her mind about the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gündoğan continued to speak out against extreme language and threats on social media, and she filed a police report following death threats. She mostly blamed right-wing populist politicians, calling Geert Wilders a "nasty racist" on Twitter. She apologized for a tweet in which she said she would inject Thierry Baudet everyday if there would have been a vaccine against fascism. After Gideon van Meijeren declared in a July 2022 speech that farmers could sometimes be justified in using violence during the period of farmers' protests, Gündoğan announced that she would file a criminal complaint for sedition and inciting violence.
Expulsion from Volt
A number of internal complaints about unacceptable behavior by Gündoğan led Volt to suspend her from their parliamentary group on 13 February 2022 awaiting the results of an external investigation. The episode occurred during a wave of allegations of inappropriate behavior against high-profile people in the Netherlands. Gündoğan told that she was unaware of the nature of the complaints. In a statement two days later, she called her suspension disproportionate, and she declared that she would keep her House seat regardless of the outcome of the investigation. She also said that she would be sorry if her working style had made anyone feel unsafe. Her lawyers announced on 18 February that Gündoğan would take legal action against Volt's parliamentary group in order to end her suspension, to get a rectification, and to receive damages. The party stated, in turn, that she was unwilling to cooperate with the external investigation, which Gündoğan had described as not independent. Volt decided to permanently expel Gündoğan from its parliamentary group on 26 February as a result of 13 allegations from fellow party members of physical violence, unwanted sexual advances, intimidation, and abuse of her position. That same day, Gündoğan filed a criminal complaint for defamation against Volt's board, party leader Laurens Dassen, and the accusers. A judge determined on 9 March that the expulsion had been unjust, as procedures had not been followed correctly and as there had been no proper justification, and ordered its immediate reversal as well as €5,000 in damages. Dassen also apologized to Gündoğan in reaction. The proceedings made clear that three complaints concerned sexual advances and another three concerned slaps on the butt, while the others were related to verbal assault and excessive alcohol usage. Gündoğan denied having crossed any boundaries with her behavior.
Newspaper NRC Handelsblad published an article on 13 March outlining several instances of Gündoğan's alleged unacceptable behavior after having spoken with five of the accusers. It included anger outbursts, drunken behavior, and asking for sex as well as a slap on the butt of a female minor, which was described by the victim as intimidation. Gündoğan dismissed the allegations, calling them a smear campaign and calling their level painfully low. Days after the article's publication, Dassen and Volt's board made clear that reconciliation could only be achieved if Gündoğan would withdraw her criminal complaints. She instead told on talk show Jinek that she had expanded them. Volt subsequently announced that it would appeal the judge's decision, and Gündoğan was again expelled from the party's parliamentary group on 22 March following a vote among its three members after the by-laws had been altered to allow for this. Furthermore, Volt's board decided to end her membership of the party on 28 March. Gündoğan returned to the House of Representatives on 10 May as the leader of her own parliamentary group – Lid Gündoğan (Member Gündoğan) – after nearly three months of absence, bringing the number of groups in the House to a record-breaking twenty. She told that the focus of her work would be on finances, democracy, and the rule of law. The Public Prosecution Service dismissed Gündoğan's criminal complaints for defamation a few months later. An Amsterdam appellate court reversed the lower court's earlier decision on 7 February 2023, ruling that Volt had been justified in expelling Gündoğan from their parliamentary group. However, it did conclude that Volt's original press release about Gündoğan's alleged unacceptable behavior had been a little premature and sometimes formulated in an unfortunate way.
Gündoğan has been living in Amsterdam since 1996. She was married to Bas Vogels, whom she knew from D66. Bas was diagnosed with incurable colorectal cancer months after their relationship had started in January 2014. They married in 2015 in France, and Nilüfer subsequently bore the last name Vogels. Bas was voluntarily euthanized in March 2017, about half a year after the birth of their son Mikail. Gündoğan raises her son as a single parent. She is an atheist.
- ^ "ML5 Tweede kamer kandidaat Nilüfer Gündogan van de partij Volt". YouTube. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
- ^ a b c "Nilüfer Gündoğan". Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
- ^ a b "Atatürk, Democratie en Europa: Turks-Nederlandse Nilüfer doet gooi naar Europese zetel met VOLT" [Atatürk, democracy, and Europe: Turkish-Dutch Nilüfer makes a bid for a European Parliament seat with Volt]. DutchTurks.nl (in Dutch). 22 May 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
- ^ a b c d Gündoğan, Nilüfer (1 March 2021). "'Nederland kan net als Turkije afglijden naar een illiberale democratie'" ['The Netherlands could slide into an illiberal democracy just like Turkey']. de Kanttekening (Interview) (in Dutch). Interviewed by Chris Aalberts. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- ^ a b Gündoğan, Nilüfer; Rijpkema, Bastiaan (10 March 2021). "Arnon Grunberg Ontmoet Nilüfer Gündoğan en Bastiaan Rijpkema" [Arnon Grunberg meets Nilüfer Gündoğan and Bastiaan Rijpkema] (Interview) (in Dutch). Interviewed by Arnon Grunberg. De Balie. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- ^ a b Duk, Wierd (15 May 2019). "'Wij zijn de generatie Europa'" ['We are the European generation']. De Telegraaf (in Dutch). Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- ^ a b c d Geels, Boudewijn; Toe Laer, Elfanie (28 May 2021). "'Zo'n vrouw die zonder boerka niet meer naar de supermarkt mag, is dat het waard?'" ['Such a woman who is not allowed to go to the supermarket without a burqa, is that worth it?']. Het Financieele Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2021.
- ^ Goossen, Hans (15 February 2022). "Wie is het in opspraak geraakte Tweede Kamerlid Nilüfer Gündogan? 'Mijn karakter wordt ruwer dan het al is'" [Who is the discredited House of Representatives member Nilüfer Gündoğan? 'My character is becoming rougher than it already was']. De Limburger (in Dutch). Retrieved 20 February 2022.
- ^ Goossen, Hans (16 July 2022). "Haar vader sloeg haar en echtgenoot Bas stierf aan kanker, maar de in Weert opgegroeide politieke outcast Nilüfer Gündogan breekt niet: 'Laat ze maar komen'" [Her father hit her and her husband Bas died of cancer, but the political outcast Nilüfer Gündoğan, raised in Weert, will not break: 'Let them come']. De Limburger (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 August 2022.
- ^ a b Visser, Arjan (30 April 2022). "Nilüfer Gündogan is nog lang niet klaar met Volt: 'Ik ga terugpakken wat mij toebehoort'" [Nilüfer Gündoğan is not yet done with Volt: 'I will take back whatever belongs to me']. Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 12 June 2022.
- ^ Özcan Akyol (November 2021). "#11 - De Geknipte Gast met Nilüfer Gündogan (S04)" [#11 - De Geknipte Gast with Nilüfer Gündoğan (S04)]. Spotify (Podcast) (in Dutch). BNNVARA. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
- ^ Marleen Weener (20 November 2020). "12. Het kwetsbare verhaal van Nilüfer Gündogan, de nummer 2 van VOLT" [12. The vulnerable story of Nilüfer Gündoğan, Volt's number two]. Apple Podcasts (Podcast) (in Dutch). De Politieke Adem podcast. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
- ^ a b Gündoğan, Nilüfer (1 December 2020). "DeGoedeBijlo 039 - Interview met Nilüfer Gündoğan" [DeGoedeBijlo 039 - Interview with Nilüfer Gündoğan] (Interview) (in Dutch). Interviewed by David de Goede and Vincent Bijlo. Lorenzetti Governance Foundation. Retrieved 15 May 2021 – via YouTube.
- ^ Den Outer, Bianca (11 September 2019). "Nilüfer Vogels accountmanager voor De Eerstelijns" [Nilüfer Vogels account manager at De Eerstelijns]. De Eerstelijns (Press release) (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 May 2021.
- ^ Schmidt, Christoph (15 February 2022). "'Ik denk sneller: wat een onzin. Hier heb ik geen trek in'" ['I am more inclined to think: What nonsense. I'm not interested in this']. Trouw (in Dutch). pp. 4–5.
- ^ "Meer ondernemers in Kamer, geen landelijke afspiegeling" [More entrepreneurs in the House, no reflection of the country]. Accountancy Vanmorgen (in Dutch). 2 April 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- ^ a b "Nilüfer Gündoğan". Volt (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 February 2021.
- ^ a b Gündoğan, Nilüfer (May 2013). "Ledenwijzer D66" [Member information D66] (in Dutch). Democrats 66. p. 96. Retrieved 13 May 2021 – via Issuu.
- ^ "D66-raadslid Capel wordt lijsttrekker in Zuid" [D66 councilor Capel becomes lijsttrekker in Zuid]. Het Parool (in Dutch). 19 July 2013. p. 11.
- ^ Zwolsman, Noor (13 February 2022). "Volt schorst Kamerlid Nilüfer Gündogan na beschuldigingen" [Volt suspends MP Nilüfer Gündogan following allegations]. NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 19 February 2022.
- ^ "Uitslag Europees Parlementsverkiezing 2019" [Results 2019 European Parliament election] (PDF) (in Dutch). Kiesraad. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- ^ Valk, Guus; De Koning, Petra (13 March 2022). "Wat was het ongewenste gedrag van Nilüfer Gündogan?" [What was Nilüfer Gündoğan's unacceptable behavior?]. NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 May 2022.
- ^ "Uitslag Tweede Kamerverkiezing 17 maart 2021 Proces-verbaal" [Results general election 17 March 2021 Report] (PDF). Kiesraad (in Dutch). 29 March 2021. p. 241. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- ^ Julen, Jeannine (7 July 2021). "Tabaksfabrikanten nog altijd welkom in Tweede Kamer na draai van het CDA" [Tobacco companies still welcome in the House of Representatives after turn of the CDA]. Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2021.
- ^ "Gewijzigde motie van de leden Gündogan en Van der Laan over de uitleg van het FCTC-verdrag herzien (t.v.v. 35504-9)" [Altered motion of the members Gündoğan and Van der Laan about revising the interpretation of the WHO FCTC (replacing 35504-9)]. Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2021.
- ^ "Volt wil overwaarde huizen belasten, Van Rij weet van niets" [Volt wants to tax profits from house sales, Van Rij is not aware of it]. BNR (in Dutch). 4 February 2022. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
- ^ "Kamerleden D66 en Volt over bedreigingen: 'Wij trekken hier een streep'" [D66 and Volt House members about threats: 'This is where we draw the line']. RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 18 November 2021. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
- ^ a b c Brekelmans, Joyce; Korteweg, Ariejan (13 February 2022). "Nilüfer Gündogan heeft geen idee waarom Volt haar schorst voor grensoverschrijdend gedrag" [Nilüfer Gündogan has no idea why Volt is suspending her due to unacceptable behavior]. de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 19 February 2022.
- ^ Keultjes, Hanneke (13 February 2022). "Volt schorst Kamerlid Nilüfer Gündogan vanwege grensoverschrijdend gedrag" [Volt suspends MP Nilüfer Gündogan due to unacceptable behavior]. Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 19 February 2022.
- ^ Schmidt, Christoph (14 February 2022). "Geschorst Volt-Kamerlid Nilüfer Gündogan: 'Ik heb behoorlijk wat voor mijn kiezen gehad'" [Suspended Volt House member Nilüfer Gündoğan: 'I have gone through quite a lot']. Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 May 2022.
- ^ Quekel, Sebastiaan (12 July 2022). "Kamerlid Nilufer Gündogan doet aangifte tegen FvD'er Gideon van Meijeren om boerenspeech" [House member Nilüfer Gündoğan files a criminal complaint against FVD member Gideon van Meijeren because of farmers' speech]. Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 August 2022.
- ^ "Partijen zoeken naar de grenzen van 'ongewenst gedrag' politici" [Parties are looking for the boundaries of 'unacceptable behavior' by politicians]. NRC (in Dutch). 14 February 2022. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
- ^ Korteweg, Ariejan. "Nilüfer Gündogan wil Kamerlid blijven, ongeacht uitkomst onderzoek naar grensoverschrijdend gedrag" [Nilüfer Gündoğan wants to remain House member, regardless of results of investigation into unacceptable behavior]. de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 May 2022.
- ^ "Geschorst Volt-Kamerlid spant kort geding aan tegen partijleiding" [Suspended Volt House member starts preliminary proceedings against party leadership]. FD (in Dutch). 18 February 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
- ^ a b "Volt zet Gündogan uit fractie, Kamerlid doet aangifte van smaad en laster" [Volt expels Gündoğan from parliamentary group, House member files criminal complaint for defamation]. NOS (in Dutch). 26 February 2022. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
- ^ Julen, Jeannine (9 March 2022). "Volt geeft gevolg aan vonnis, gaat om tafel met Gündoğan" [Volt follows judgement and will talk with Gündoğan]. Trouw. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
- ^ "Volt kreeg drie meldingen over seksuele avances van Gündoğan" [Volt received three reports about sexual advances by Gündoğan]. RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 1 March 2022. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
- ^ "Na rechterlijke uitspraak wil Volt Gündogan weer in fractie opnemen" [Volt wants Gündoğan to rejoin parliamentary group following court ruling]. NOS (in Dutch). 9 March 2022. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
- ^ Valk, Guus; De Koning, Petra (13 March 2022). "Wat was het ongewenste gedrag van Nilüfer Gündogan?" [What was Nilüfer Gündoğan's unacceptable behavior?]. NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 June 2022.
- ^ "Volt-bestuur: pas verzoening als Gündoğan aangiftes intrekt" [Volt's board: Only reconciliation after Gündoğan withdraws criminal complaints]. Reformatorisch Dagblad (in Dutch). ANP. 15 March 2022. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
- ^ "Gündogan wil ondanks ruzie maandag terugkeren naar Volt-fractie" [Gündoğan wants to return to Volt parliamentary group despite quarrel]. AD (in Dutch). 17 March 2022. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
- ^ "Volt royeert Nilüfer Gündogan en zet haar uit de fractie" [Volt expels Nilüfer Gündoğan and removes her from parliamentary group]. RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 18 March 2022. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
- ^ Den Hartog, Tobias (22 March 2022). "Volt zet Gündogan nu officieel uit de fractie" [Volt now officially expels Gündoğan from parliamentary group]. Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 June 2022.
- ^ "Bestuur Volt zet Gündogan uit de partij" [Board of Volt ends party membership Gündoğan]. NOS (in Dutch). 29 March 2022. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
- ^ "Gündoğan weer aan het werk: 'Heb niets om me voor te schamen'" [Gündoğan resumes her work: 'I have nothing to be ashamed of']. RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 9 May 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
- ^ "Gündogan weer aan het werk als Kamerlid" [Gündoğan returns as House member]. NOS (in Dutch). 10 May 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
- ^ "OM seponeert zaak Gündogan tegen Volt over smaad en laster" [Public Prosecution Service dismisses Gündoğan's defamation case against Volt]. NOS (in Dutch). 14 July 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
- ^ "Volt krijgt in hoger beroep alsnog gelijk: de partij mocht Nilüfer Gündoğan uit fractie zetten" [Volt was right after all on appeal: The party was allowed to expel Nilüfer Gündoğan from the parliamentary group]. De Limburger (in Dutch). 7 February 2023. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
- ^ a b Gündoğan, Nilüfer (13 March 2021). "'De orthodox gelovige woont in mijn ideale wereld in harmonie met de atheïst'" ['In my ideal world, Orthodox believers live in harmony with atheists']. Nieuw Wij (Interview) (in Dutch). Retrieved 13 May 2021.
- ^ Keultjes, Hanneke (24 April 2022). "De ondergang van Nilüfer Gündogan: 'In Lissabon stond ze laveloos op straat'" [The downfall of Nilüfer Gündoğan: 'She was standing sloshed on the street in Lisbon']. AD (in Dutch). Retrieved 12 June 2022.
- ^ Munnik, Eva (19 June 2021). "De man van Nilüfer Gündoğan overleed aan kanker: 'Het allerergste is je dierbaren zien lijden'" [Nilüfer Gündoğan's husband died from cancer: 'Seeing your loved ones suffering is the worst thing']. Flair (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2021.
- ^ "Bas Vogels overleden" [Bas Vogels passed away]. D66 (Press release) (in Dutch). 10 March 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
- 1977 births
- Living people
- 21st-century Dutch civil servants
- 21st-century Dutch politicians
- 21st-century Dutch women politicians
- Dutch atheists
- Dutch management consultants
- Dutch people of Kurdish descent
- Independent politicians in the Netherlands
- Members of the House of Representatives (Netherlands)
- People from Nazımiye
- People from Weert
- Politicians from Amsterdam
- Turkish emigrants to the Netherlands
- Volt Europa politicians
- Zaza Alevis