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.

 

Air strikes kill 150 militants fleeing Fallujah

UN envoy seeks Syria peace talks’ resumption in July

41 killed in Istanbul airport bomb, gun attacks

EU agrees to opens new chapter with Turkey on accession talks

Egypt becoming departure country for migrants to Europe

US Navy probe finds leadership failings in Iran capture

Quartet report says Israel must urgently halt illegal settlement expansion

At least 70 killed in northern Aleppo clashes

Sisi praises Egyptian 'revolution' against Morsi

US-backed Syria rebels look to cut off ISIS from Iraq border

Egyptian Coptic priest shot dead in El-Arish

Iran sacks heads of four state banks over high pay

Detained RSF Turkey representative released

Lebanese army says ISIS attacks foiled, 5 arrested

UN extends Darfur mission despite Sudan opposition

Turkey detains 13 over airport attack

Palestinian killed by Israeli troops after deadly attack

Tunisian killed in Istanbul attack seeking to repatriate IS-linked son

Turkish forces kill 2 suspected IS jihadists at Syria border

Egypt president urges religious reforms to counter extremists

First aid convoy since 2012 enters two besieged Syria towns

Race to succeed Cameron begins after stunning Brexit vote

Yemen peace talks to take two-week break

Iraq secures $2.7 billion US military loan

ISIS pushes back Syria rebel offensive on Iraq route

Israel cabinet approves Turkey reconciliation deal

Turkey airport attack slams limping tourism industry

Putin lifts Turkey travel restrictions, orders trade 'normalised'

Fears for stranded Syrian refugees as Jordan blocks access

Bahrain activist back in jail despite worsening health

Witnesses recount Istanbul attack

Car bomb kills 10 in Kurdish-held Syria town

Ban to Israeli PM: Gaza blockade ‘collective punishment’

Alstom-led consortium awarded $2.88 billion Dubai metro extension

Democratic hopes fade away in Egypt

US-backed Syria rebels advance on key IS link to Iraq

Israel revokes controversial 'Hannibal Directive'

Detained Bahraini activist hospitalised

UN chief urges Netanyahu to make tough choices

Saudi Aramco, SABIC in joint petrochemicals study

Yemen clashes, air strikes kill 37 civilians

Egypt's anti-graft tsar becomes public enemy number one

Iraqis shun return to 'cursed' Fallujah

Lebanese army raids refugee camps after bombings

Ankara goes back on compensation offer for downed Russia jet