ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – When a staffer from Germany’s far-right, anti-immigrant party almost died in a medical emergency on Wednesday, a Kurdish politician with hospital training stepped in to save his life, reported Vox on Friday.
When the employee of the Alternatives for Germany (AfD) party collapsed and stopped breathing during a state parliamentary session, Serdar Yüksel, a Kurdish member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the state parliament of North-Rhine Westphalia, intervened.
A trained intensive care nurse, Yüksel and another member of parliament from the Free Democrat Party used CPR to save the man, who survived the initial emergency situation and was taken to the hospital.
Yüksel said in a statement posted on his Facebook page on Thursday that it was normal that he helped out his colleague. “It’s not about the Social Democrats, or the AfD man I helped, it's about us being human,” he said.
“My thoughts are with the family and my colleague, and wish him a good recovery and hope he will be soon on his feet again,” wrote Yüksel in a second post on the following day.
Yüksel is of Kurdish descent and was born in Essen, Germany. He has been a member of the center-left SPD since 1989, according to biographical information published online. He has visited the Kurdistan Region and has also announced his support for arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces against the Islamic State (IS).
However, some German media didn’t mention his Kurdish roots.
“Serdar Yüksel has Kurdish-Alevi roots and he doesn't hide it. He has been warning about Turkish racism and extremism for years. The Kurdish-Alevi community has been victim to Turkey's fascist policies since the founding of the republic,” said Polla Garmiany, a European-Kurdish political adviser based in the EU who works with the lobby group Kurdish Community in Germany (KGD), to Kurdistan 24.
“German media often just don't care about people's origins,” he continued. “For some news organizations, people from the Middle East are almost always all the same. A Kurd, a Turk, an Arab, all the same. Who cares. Especially when it's about Kurdish topics, a Kurd suddenly becomes a Turk or a Syrian. The Kurdistan Region becomes "Northern Iraq," and so on.”
“So, in that case, it becomes important to mention that he has Kurdish roots. All in all, however, it's important that he could save a colleague's life. That's what really matters in this case.”
Editing by John J. Catherine