Cem Özdemir is the Co-Chairman of the German Green Party (Alliance ’90/The Greens). As party leader, he focuses on ecological and economic issues, including the development of a “Green New Deal,” as well as educational reforms and migration and integration issues.
From 2004 until 2009 Özdemir was a member of the European Parliament (The Greens / European Free Alliance), where he was Speaker on Foreign Affairs for his political group. In 2003, Cem Özdemir joined other senior policy-practitioners and academics as a “Transatlantic Fellow” at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, DC and Brussels. Özdemir was elected to the German parliament in 1994, becoming its first-ever member of Turkish descent. Özdemir served two consecutive legislative terms (1994-2002). During this time, he held the position of Speaker on Internal Affairs for the Green Parliamentary Group.
Özdemir is the author of two books on multicultural Germany. In 2008, he published a book for young people titled Turkey: Politics, Religion, Culture. He regularly writes commentaries and articles for German, Turkish, and international media.
He is an educator by profession and completed his studies in social pedagogy at the Evangelical Technical College (Evangelische Fachhochschule für Sozialwesen) in Reutlingen, Germany.
Turkey's Role in the Future Architecture of the European Union
IPC-Sabancı University-Stiftung Mercator Initiative convened a meeting titled “Turkey’s Role in the Future Architecture of the European Union” with 2012/13 Mercator-IPC Senior Fellow Cem Özdemir on February 8, 2013 at Cezayir Restaurant.
20 Years After Mölln and Solingen – Hate Crimes and their Impact on German-Turkish Relations Today
IPC-Sabancı University-Stiftung Mercator Initiative convened a panel discussion titled “ 20 Years After Mölln and Solingen – Hate Crimes and their Impact on German-Turkish Relations Today” with Mercator-IPC Senior Fellow Cem Özdemir and IPC Director Fuat Keyman on February 7, 2013 at IPC.
1st Mercator-IPC Talk with Cem Özdemir
On October 17, 2012 the inaugural event of the Mercator-IPC Talks series took place in Cezayir Restaurant, Istanbul. Mercator-IPC Senior Fellow Cem Özdemir gave a keynote speech entitled “Going Green – Opportunities for Sustainable Economic Growth in Turkey”.
Welcoming Event for the 2012/13 Mercator – IPC Fellows
On September 25, 2012 the welcoming event for the first Mercator-IPC Fellows took place in Istanbul. The event opened with the warm welcoming remarks of Nihat Berker, President of Sabanci University, Bernhard Lorentz, President of Stifung Mercator, and Fuat Keyman, IPC Director. Mercator-IPC Senior Fellow Cem Özdemir, Co-Chairman of the German green party “Alliance 90/The Greens”, gave a keynote speech entitled “Europe at the Crossroads: Why Turkey Matters”. Subsequently, the 2012/13 Mercator – IPC Fellows were introduced through short video clips.
The ensuing panel discussion, entitled “A Silver Lining: German – Turkish Cooperation in Turbulent Times,” offered an intellectually stimulating debate between Kemal Dervis, Member of the IPC Executive Board and Vice President of the Brookings Institution, Ömer Madra, Mercator – IPC Senior Fellow and Co-Founder of Acik Radyo, Secil Pacaci Elitok, Mercator – IPC Fellow, and Ambassador Klaus Scharioth (ret.), Dean of the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs and Member of the IPC’s International Advisory Council. The discussion was chaired by Ayse Kadioglu, Senior Scholar at IPC and Professor at Sabanci University.