First Published: 2008-02-13

 
Erdogan: assimilation is crime against humanity
 

Turkish PM warns Germany's leaders not to confuse assimilation with integration.

 

Middle East Online

Erdogan: assimilation is different from integration

ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Turks in Germany on Tuesday to reject assimilation, repeating comments that drew a furious response last weekend.

"I repeat... assimilation is a crime against humanity," Erdogan said in a speech to parliament in Ankara.

Erdogan warned Germany's leaders not to confuse assimilation with integration for the nearly three million people of Turkish origin living in the country.

"I explained over there (Germany) that they must differentiate very clearly between assimilation and integration. We can think differently from (Chancellor Angela) Merkel about this, but that is my opinion," Erdogan said.

During a speech before 20,000 members of the Turkish community in Cologne Sunday, Erdogan warned Turks against assimilation and encouraged them to safeguard their own culture.

The comments came amid heightened tensions, just days after a fire in an apartment building in the southwestern city of Ludwigshafen cost the lives of nine Turks.

Turkish media speculated that the blaze was possibly a racist attack and Erdogan called for a rapid probe. Turkish immigrants were victims of a string of firebombings in Germany in the early 1990s.

But some German politicians seem to continue confusing assimilation with integration.

"I believe that integration means there is a willingness to adapt to a country's way of life," Merkel said.

Erdogan's comments prompted a backlash from German centre-right parties, which have long been hostile to Turkey's attempts to join the European Union.

Erwin Huber, head of the Christian Social Union (CSU) -- the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), said in an interview with a Munich newspaper that Germany should reconsider whether EU membership talks with Ankara were still "sensible".

Although the German government officially supports EU accession negotiations with Turkey, both the CDU and CSU would prefer a so-called "privileged partnership" agreement rather than fully-fledged membership.

Peter Struck, the head of the parliamentary group of Germany's Social Democrats, partners in the governing coalition, called Erdogan's remarks "totally unacceptable".

But he said the row should have no influence over Ankara's EU membership talks.

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Jihadists flock to fight on ‘unprecedented scale’

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli