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Erdogan urges German Turks not to integrate

The Local · 17 Mar 2010, 14:49

Published: 17 Mar 2010 14:49 GMT+01:00

At the meeting last month, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Turks living in foreign countries to take out citizenship of the new homelands – not to integrate, but rather to become more politically active, according to the website of news magazine Der Spiegel.

Ali Ertan Toprak, deputy chairman of the Alevi community in Germany, told the magazine government representatives had said: “We have to inject European culture with Turkish.”

Erdogan told the meeting countries that did not allow dual citizenship violated basic rights and also likened Islamophobia to anti-Semitism.

Participants told Spiegel that Erdogan repeated elements of his widely criticised speech in Cologne in 2008 in which he said: “Assimilation is a crime against humanity.”

The invitation to politicians and religious leaders of Turkish descent included lunch in a five-star hotel in Istanbul and offered to cover their travel costs.

The title of the meeting was: “Wherever one of our countrymen is, we are there too.”

About 1,500 Turks from several European countries attended, including a Belgian MP and representatives of companies and NGOs.

The meeting was organised by Erdogan’s reigning Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has conservative-religious leanings and has been criticised for pulling the country away from its secular tradition.

Faruk Celik, a minister in Erdogan's cabinet, described German politicians as “my honourable parliamentarians” and described Erdogan as “our Prime Minister.”

German politicians and religious representatives of Turkish descent were shocked by the brazen political lobbying and were sharply critical of Ankara.

“It was an absolutely clear lobbying event by the Turkish government,” said Ali Ertan Toprak. He said he was appalled by how often the Turkish government had said Turkish-Germans should represent the interests of Turkey.

Story continues below…

“If opponents of (Turkey’s) EU entry from the (European) Union had been there, they would have got a whole lot of material for their argument,” Toprak said.

Canan Bayram, a Turkish-born Greens member of the Berlin city parliament, said she had travelled to the conference as the integration spokeswoman for her party but had insisted on paying for herself.

“It was important for me to make clear that as a German MP I was not financed by the Turkish government,” she said.

Former Social Democrats member of the European parliament and businessman Vural Öger said: “The Turkish government should worry about the interests of Turks in Turkey rather than trying to use Germans of Turkish descent as their messengers.”

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:36 March 17, 2010 by Fatz Lewinski
"We have to inject European culture with Turkish": I can only imagine the furore and/or kebab jokes that this will bring!

Seriously, I have worked in Turkey and the professionals that I met were sharply critical, even snooty about the Turks in Germany, believing them to paint a negative picture of Turkey. They believe that the diverse, Turkish cutlture can never be represented by (and I quote) "ex goat farmers that couldn't make a living in their own country".

They also told me, repeatedly, that most German Turks are actually Kurds. I've never checked this out but I'd like to know if it made a difference to that politician when he refers to integration. The Kurds, as far as I know, have struggled for years to break away from Turkey because of oppression.
15:56 March 17, 2010 by happyhouse
you see? muslims have no intention of integrating in anycase into our west european countries!

islam only intends to spread islam and sharia law, and occupy our lands with there stoneage islamic fascist ideology.

geert wilders, hrry up and get your show on the road, the British BNP will soon be also getting into the UK parliament.

there is NO place for islam in western europe. read this book. Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West. by Christopher Caldwell.
16:09 March 17, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Just close the god damned border already. We don't need this crap from a second rate power with a cultural bias. They have no respect for us, and aren't willing to play by our rules. So, to hell with them. Turks who want to emigrate legitimately and are willing to integrate will remain entirely welcome.
16:17 March 17, 2010 by london717
Ahmadinejad-Erdogan.....Erdogan-Ahmadinejad Hmmm see any difference.

If one immigrates you expect integration. For all who apply for citizenship the Hijab should be banned, bratwurst and sauerkraut should be served at the oath ceremony and a voluntary abstention of kebab's for 2 years.
16:18 March 17, 2010 by Edmond Schindler
I think the point is "countries that did not allow dual citizenship violated basic rights " and I have to agree, why try to integrate when all foreigners in Germany are asked to give up their country whereas Germans are allowed dual citizen ship. His point is valid.
16:27 March 17, 2010 by Thames
Every once in a while when they feel embolden by the weakness of the West the disguises of the Islamist Imperialists come off.

This was such a time.

Somehow, this whole problem will be played off as the fault of the native Germans. Apologies from Berlin should be forthcoming.
16:30 March 17, 2010 by Portnoy
Wasn't the Doener Kebab invented in Berlin?
16:36 March 17, 2010 by Fatz Lewinski
At last a kebab comment!

No idea. I think it is simply of orinetal origin 'cos it turns up all over the Mid east.

If the abstentation of kebabs was forced on foreigners, I think my son (UK by birth) would starve! His breath would certainly smell a lot better though!
16:43 March 17, 2010 by Thames
The Kebab in various forms exists all over the world.

The Doener Kebab I believe was introduced in Berlin in the 60's
17:02 March 17, 2010 by tollermann
All I can say is whomever believes Muslims in general will or want to assimilate into Western culture do so at the risk of their freedom!
17:11 March 17, 2010 by Christian@primehome.com
The Turkish Military regime can do whatever it wnats since the German have got a major problem.

the Turkish citizens , if they shall not be integrating, then they do what they always do

nothing would change

I simply say

Germany has failed to play a major role towards the country, and this is also from History

Nobody will stop the Turkish Military Regine in Europe, not even here in Cyprus

Christian Kuepper

Republic of Cyprus
18:42 March 17, 2010 by michael4096
I agree that immigrants should get involved with local politics and pull the culture as far as they have support for - that's called democracy. I do not believe that anyone should have more or less say in the national debate because of where their parents were born. So, if this is what the guy is trying to say - I agree.

However, this is a long way from saying that turkish decendents should represent the interests of turkey. Or, that americans or brits or .. here should represent the interests of their countries.

People residing (rather than sleeping over) here have the obligation to look after this country's interest but also the right to try to steer the country in whatever direction they like - democratically.
23:13 March 17, 2010 by happyhouse
Sayeed Qutb (find him on google) he was a teacher also of osama bin laden, sayeed qutb is islamic scholar of hate! all muslims worsip this man as a hero and fountain of inspiration for the sread of islam and conquering the western world. islam is a facsist ideology and NOT compatible with western european values, culture, and history.

wake up Germany! its time to throw off the shackles of left wing imposed political correctnes, and STOP islam and all these muslims flooding our european countrys, abusing our welfare and health systems, and trying to turn westren europe into a sharia superstate.

all indigenous germans should wake up fast, or in 20 years time there will not be a germany anymore. there will be a germanistan!

Geert wilders has shined the light, in the UK the British national party is also leading the way.

there is NOTHING racist about wanting to protect your own indigenous people and lands from bogus muslim asylum seekers.

berlin already looks like a turkish outpost.

come on germany throw off the shackles of political correctness and stop islamic takeover of deutschland.

there is NO place for islam in western europe. read this book. Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West. by Christopher Caldwell
23:46 March 17, 2010 by Gretl
happyhouse - see article about Nazis. There is a reason people are afraid of espousing "Germany for Germans" or "no Muslims". The irony is the Turks were brought in by Hitler to kills Jews, and now they occupy the same position.

If we are going native, kicking out the Mulims, and Jews, then let's go all the way, and kick Christianity out of Europe, too. It is also from the Middle East, and is not native. The old pagan traditions are still there, just go to Bayern on 1 May and see all the maibaums.

We have the same problem in the US, with illegal Hispanic immigration, whose aim has been, in political circles, to prop up their own failing economies with the money the workers send home, and among some Mexicans, to take back the land they lost in the Mexican-American war by just occupying it. Given that Spanish is the defacto 2nd language in the US, it appears to be working.

Would most Americans support shipping them back to their own countries? Yes. It pisses us off that they are not following the rules.
01:39 March 18, 2010 by happyhouse
9 out of 10 germans want immigration stopped and especially mulims, they want out of germany!

geert wilders is te beginning of the end of islam in western europe.

the BNP in the uk are going to tackle islam, and now its germans who need to wake up!!! and fight back against these left wing liberal communists that are destroying germany, and handing the german nation over to muslims!

the real nazis are die linke, and these leftwing naieve losers who are defending these islamic muslims and there stoneage fascist ideology.

sayeed qutb is the hitler of the muslim world, google, sayeed Qutb.

wake up germany! so NO to islam and muslims!!!
02:42 March 18, 2010 by kotapzero
Thats not gonna work - Erdogan wants the turkish residents of germany not to integrate, but rather to become more politically active - because to be politically active in germany you have to integrate first. If a political activity is to be against the german constitution, it won´t happen, and that is just fair. I wonder what kind of political activity he has in mind, I hope it´s not the sort that the kurds tried here some years ago where a lot of german police force got injured. Mr. Erdogan is free to advise the turks in his country ( and threaten to kick out 100.000 Armenians as well ) but he needs to be aware that even if turkey is a good customer of german defense products, he needs to watch his mouth when adressing turks in germany in such a way. Everybody is welcome in germany as long as they respect the rules and live by the rules and behave like good neighbours do, but trying to undermine the fact that cultural integration is actually a question of curtesy when living abroad won´t be successful here, because the people of turkish origin that are smart enough already engage in german politics. Take Cem ízdemir of the green party for example. I personally believe that islam in its core is a peaceful and friendly religion, and that it leaves room for other religions as well so that a peaceful coexistence of jewish christian and muslim people is possible and has already worked in the past, yet at the moment some mean people abuse religion for their political goals and unfortunately there are enough people falling for this con, be it on the muslim or on the anti muslim side. Anyway, the german constitution is strong enough and thank god secured enough to be powerful and vigilant to adress any muslim or anti muslim activity efficiently. The question that the turkish people should ask themselves or better that Erdogan should ask them to think about, should be actually: is it not below the dignity of turks with a german residence to build cultural ghettos and not mingle with the rest, because thats what can be observed and that is whats causing separation. In other words the turkish prime minister asks turkish people to say no to the german integration offer. They better be aware that this has been looked at with nonunderstanding and that to live together benevolently its good advice for them not to spit on a hand that is reaching out for theirs. We need to live together as partners and not as people that seperate and if that is not understood,it will be explained to the persons with problems to understand it again and again until they get it.
02:50 March 18, 2010 by Talonx
Firstly, happyhouse, citations for your figure '9 out of 10'? When you make a claim in the real world, the onus is on you to back it. Secondly, it's really hard to trust someone who supports the BNP which is the NPD of the U.K.

Also, where the h#ll are some of you getting this sharia law crap, Turkey is one of the most secular nations in the middle east (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secularism_in_Turkey), I would put them above Israel, in fact, especially with Mr. N in power.
05:33 March 18, 2010 by peschvogel
You Germans have nobody to blame but yourselves. Should have made kids. This is why your race is dying out. I say good for the Turks because they get to start over in a new enviornment for their own culture because Germany will be a Muslim state in 10-15 years anyway. And you cant reverse those numbers...Mathematically impossible. Turkei!
13:04 March 18, 2010 by AirForceGuy
Pretty soon Turkish will be the 'official' second language of Germany, just like Spanish is in the US. And all official government publcations and ballots will be (required to be)bilingual. This is what happens when immigrants don't get integrated into the mainstrean society and they set up a 'second country' within yours, and over a few generations become the majority, not a minority any more...
14:33 March 18, 2010 by saucymugwump
Talonx wrote: Also, where the h#ll are some of you getting this sharia law crap, Turkey is one of the most secular nations in the middle east

That's a lot like saying the rattlesnake is one of the least dangerous snakes of the poisonous variety. It can still kill you.

Here are a few sentences regarding your hero from my blog at http://saucymugwump.blogspot.com/:

Erdogan is on record as having said "You cannot be both secular and a Muslim." Contradicting Obama's delusion of moderate Islam, Erdogan said last April: "It is unacceptable for us to agree with such a definition. Turkey has never been a country to represent such a concept. Moreover, Islam cannot be classified as moderate or not."

In other words, he is saying that Islam is an all or nothing affair; Islam contains sharia law, so therefore he is in favor of it.

In the past, Turkey's army intervened when a leader attempted to push the country into being an Islamist state; this happened in 1960, 1971, and 1980. Erdogan has been quietly (from the West's point of view) replacing key officers and/or prosecuting officers who want to keep Turkey secular. Google on "turkey officers arrested" to see the latest news in this area.
15:21 March 18, 2010 by Talonx
saucymugwump, Sharia law is not a goal of the turkish govt.

You're postulating a crazy conspiracy theory. What's really funny as that in one post you've shown how incompetent Erdogan is by quoting him (seemingly these are quotes, I'll take your word on it) and then at once postulating some sort of conspiracy with which a person would have to have absolute competence to execute.

I'm no fan of the religious, but I'm not about to start formulating conspiracy theories second only to such rediculous postulations as 'the Protocols of the Elders of Zion', do you not see the similarity with your turkey-sharia nonsense?
15:30 March 18, 2010 by dbert4
Edmund Schindler -"and I have to agree, why try to integrate when all foreigners in Germany are asked to give up their country whereas Germans are allowed dual citizen ship."

This is completely untrue, "naturalized" citizens ALWAYS renounce their previous citizenship and give up their passports. THe only exception that I know is, the US wrongly allows Israeli's to be dual "naturalized" citizens.

I know Germans that became Americans and were denied by the German government when they tried to reclaim German citizenship.

Only by BIRTH can one be a dual citizen in most countries.
18:36 March 18, 2010 by Frenemy
In light of the fact that I have both German and American (active) passports...I'd have to say that you're definitely wrong dbert4. I obtained a US passport after marrying my American wife, and the German government didn't make me give up anything.

A couple years ago I was interviewing for a job that required a US gov't security clearance and they said that in order to be eligible I would have to give up my German citizenship...but I told them to go to hell [cuz two is always better than one ;-) lol ]

Other than that, the only bureaucratic BS I need to deal with is that I have to use my US passport when flying TO the US and my German passport when I fly back to Germany...
22:16 March 18, 2010 by saucymugwump
TO Talonx:

Maybe intentionally, but you keep confusing the Turkish government with Erdogan (and Gul, the president and his good friend). There are plenty of people in the Turkish government and military who prefer a secular one. But not in Erdogan and Gul's party, the AKP.

The Turkish government has already tried to ban the AKP, because of their radical views. A magazine you might already read, liberal Time Magazine, had an article on this almost exactly two years ago at http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1722785,00.html. "Turkey's militant secularists may have lost their battle against the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the ballot box, but they're hoping that what the electorate denied them might be granted by the judiciary. . . . Islamist parties have been banned before in Turkey. . . . The prosecutor's 152-page charge sheet refers to moves enacted by AKP municipalities that appear motivated by Islamic belief, such as banning alcohol sales in certain neighborhoods and providing segregated buses for female students. It also lists many references to the Prime Minister's recent drive to lift the ban on headscarves in universities, including his controversial remark that "If the headscarf is a political symbol, then so be it."

Of course Erdogan denies he is pursuing sharia law; in 1960 the military sent a prime minister and two other ministers to the gallows for trying to convert Turkey into an Islamist state. If you were intellectually curious, you could compare Erdogan's goals to those of sharia law and see the similarities.

You could have googled the text I quoted and found a few news articles relating to his speeches. But your mind is already made-up, so why bother, right?
00:23 March 19, 2010 by wxman
This time (first?) I'm with Talonx. Turkey has for a long time been a secular Muslim state that has made every effort to aligned itself with the West. They fully understanding their position vis a vis the ongoing disagreements between Europe and the Middle East, and I think they prefer to be European in their approach to these details. Oftentimes, it seems Europe likes to kick them in the teeth, which is probably unwise as there is certainly a strong Islamic undercurrent they deal with daily that could turn them against Europe any time. Shunning them will only embolden thse powers within their state to foment problems for all concerned.
04:54 March 19, 2010 by Talonx
Saucymugwump, speaking of outlawing parties, turkey is more secular than germany in this regard. An MDU/MSU analogue of CDU/CSU would be outlawed there. Erdogan's wellfare party, which could be regarded as a sort of Republican-like party in the sense that they were advocating for some religious things, this party was promptly outlawed. I agree with wxman on this issue, Turkish govt. and Erdogan wouldn't dare jeopardize Turkey's chances.
16:14 March 19, 2010 by Stef34
If I were German, I would be really worrisome by Erdogan's alarming speech.

What is the (growing) number of Turks in Germany in comparison to the (falling) number of German birth rates?
19:13 March 19, 2010 by jlmcnamara

dbert4 is right. Apparently your US passport is not legal:

"Before being admitted to citizenship, the applicant must give up any foreign allegiance and promise to obey the Constitution and laws of the U.S."

21:53 March 19, 2010 by Frenemy

Well, then I guess I (and the majority of my family who were born with dual US/German citizenship) have two illegal passports.

Oh well, as long as they function to get me onto planes and into countries...i really don't care! ;-)
23:15 March 19, 2010 by peschvogel
Yes, according to new laws in Germany, it will be difficult to hold 2 passports. Tax reasons i am sure.

@stef34, Yes, you are correct. This is going to drive Germans to the right, which is scary and you are already seing anti-Turks sentimnt everywhere and you have Turks who will be th majority in 15 years as Germany will be an Islamic State by that time. The German birth rates cannot stop this. Its mathematically impossible to reverse the 1.3x fertility rate.

Once Turks become more prevelant members of Germany politics on the grass roots level, game is over...
23:43 March 19, 2010 by Linda Rivera
Turkey's Prime Minister, Erdogan, publicly read an Islamic poem: ¦quot;The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and Muslims our soldiers…¦quot;

In Islam, ALL countries that are not Muslim are regarded as the 'House of War' to be conquered for Islam and non-Muslims subjugated under cruel Islamic sharia law where women are treated as inferior and non-Muslims have no human rights. Migrating from 56 Muslim countries conquered by Islam, there are now many millions of Islam's foot soldiers in Western countries.

¦#39;¦quot;One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.¦quot;

—Former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne¦#39;s prophetic warning to Europe in a speech at the U.N. In 1974.

In Sweden, many Muslim youth wear a t-shirt proclaiming: "2030-then we take over"

Western ruling elites IGNORE that non-Muslims are in a desperate fight for their survival. We must NEVER lose our human rights and freedom, or we face a living hell.
09:23 March 20, 2010 by Talonx
peschvogel, all is sound in your analysis except the fact that most Turk's that have joined in politics are a part of the SPD, Grün, and Die Linke...I don't think anyone really needs to worry about Sharia.

There are some vocal Imams, that don't seem to have majority support amongst the turkish community in Germany. And then there is Erdogan, with Bush-like rhetoric, whom Turkish delegates from Germany think is rediculous. I don't see who these things add up to a Sharia law take-over, that's just hyperbolic.
12:45 March 20, 2010 by Ich
Erdogan begs the question: Why do Turks have to go to Germany to be "Turksih"? Isn't that a lot easier to do in Turkey? I spent 3 years in Gemany during the mid 1990's and, by the time I retruned to America, I could pass for German until the conversation got really involved. German culture takes some getting used to, but it works, and it's quite charming. I would like to return, but not for Turkish culture, because it doesn't work. Neither does Islam. Why the r OIC feels the need to over run Europe and impose its own broken down, corrupt, intolerant, failure upon the cultures that have fed and taught them whatever notions of good governance they have, I can't imagne, other than taking some superstitious ramblings of the Qu'ran way more seriously than any intelligent person would.
17:52 March 21, 2010 by Albertaclipper
Now If we could only get the Islamic countries to recognize the similarities between their Christianophobia and anti semitism
20:06 March 21, 2010 by dbert4
People who are BORN dual citizens can indeed have dual passports. Apples and oranges my friend.

I suggest that you study you a bit,


"Under German law, a person may not have more than one citizenship unless he/she was born with both, as described in paragraphs 2 and 3 above. Thus, German law requires an American who becomes a German citizen through the Einbürgerung process (see paragraph 5 in the section entitled, "Basic Primer on German Citizenship Law") to formally renounce his/her American citizenship, and a German who becomes an American citizen (see paragraph 5 in the section entitled, "Basic Primer on American Citizenship Law") to give up his/her German citizenship."
20:11 March 24, 2010 by magdelana
This sound's more like infiltration. Not integration. It is difficult for a German born in another country to get citizenship and is denied if the parents took citizenship in another country. So if someone from another country want's to earn it by living there the reguired 8 years fine. But they should not get dual. The advantage of this to them is dual pension's and full right's in both countries.
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