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'Learn the language,' Turkish minister tells countrymen in Germany

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Photo: DPA
08:40 CEST+02:00
As the immigration debate grows increasingly heated in Germany, Turkey's minister for EU affairs Egemen Bagis on Tuesday urged his countrymen living there to increase their efforts at integration.

“Learn German! Adjust to the customs and conventions of your host country,” the politician suggested in an interview with daily Bild. “Send your children to the best schools so they will have a future!”

Bagis also encouraged his fellow Turks, who make up Germany’s largest group of immigrants, numbering an estimated 3.5 million, to obey German laws.

Because if “Ali or Achmed does something bad, people won’t go looking for names,” he said. Instead they will say: “It was the Turk!”

The Turkish government stands behind integration in Germany just as it does for the integration of Turkey itself into the European Union, Bagis told Bild.

“You must not give up the gift of your identity and your culture, but instead see yourselves as an ambassador of Turkey,” he added.

Bagis’ remarks came after the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD) had demanded an apology on Monday from conservative Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer for suggesting the country stop allowing Turks and Arabs to immigrate.

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Over the weekend Seehofer had said the two groups had too much trouble integrating into German culture.

DPA/ka

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