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.

 

Kuwait uncovers new IS cell

Israel approves law allowing force feeding of prisoners

Israel committed war crimes on 'Black Friday'

Israel PM approves 300 settler homes in occupied West Bank

Syrian Kurds refine oil for themselves for first time

Thomas Cook warns Tunisia attacks affect annual results

Three Al-Jazeera journalists await Egypt retrial verdict

One Turkish police killed in attack blamed on PKK

New sexist gaffe of Turkish deputy PM: 'As a woman, be quiet!

UN envoy invites Syrians to ‘thematic’ talks

Egypt's gift to the world: Suez Canal Axis

Pentagon to worried lawmakers: We will remain vigilant on Iran

Hamas calls for revolt against Palestinian Authority

ISIS claims deadly car bomb in Yemen capital

Allies tolerate Turkey's double game to boost IS fight

Somalia ‘making progress’ despite insecurity and election delay

Germany, Iraqi Kurds say Turkey should resume peace process

Syria skeptical about Turkey's intentions in fight against ISIS

Somalia indentifies hotel bomber as former German resident

US gets formal approval to use Incirlik air base in Turkey

Saudi policeman killed, 2 injured in attack

Jordan jails 8 for "plotting a terrorist act"

Israeli strike on Syrian town kills 5 pro-regime fighters

Yemen orders militia to merge with army

Erdogan heads for China for talks

France seeks to revive ties with Iran

Syria army, Kurds oust IS from Hasakeh city

Yemen truce has failed to take hold

Iran urged to free Washington Post journalist

UN aid chief calls for greater Syria access

Rebels gain ground near Syrian regime heartland

Cairo furniture factory fire kills 25

Javad Zarif has 'no concern' about nuclear deal

Somalia unable to hold full elections in 2016

Kuwait sentences 4 Egyptians to death for murder

Two Bahrain police killed in 'terror' attack

Turkish sergeant shot dead by Kurdish militant

Libyan court sentences Kadhafi son to death in absentia

Netanyahu: Iran a 'formidable' danger to Europe

Iran's conservative media slams French FM over export of tainted blood

Air raids and clashes shatter Yemen truce

Syrian army, Kurds push IS out of Hasakeh

NATO stands with Turkey in face of 'terrorism'

Mogherini due in Iran for nuclear deal talks

Erdogan: No peace process with Kurds amid attacks