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Turkish community demands more government pressure on Sarrazin

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Turkish community demands more government pressure on Sarrazin
Bundesbank official Thilo Sarrazin in February. Photo: DPA
10:07 CEST+02:00
The chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD) has called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to send a clear signal condemning anti-Muslim comments by Bundesbank official Thilo Sarrazin, according to a Saturday report.

"I ask the German government to initiate proceedings to dismiss Thilo Sarrazin from the Bundesbank board," Turkish community leader Kenan Kolat told German daily Frankfurter Rundschau on Saturday.

Kolat said the Bundesbank official's comments, which appear in Sarrazin's forthcoming book, had crossed the line. "It is the culmination of a new intellectual racism and it hurts Germany's reputation abroad," Kolat told the newspaper.

In an excerpt from his book published by daily Bild on Thursday, Sarrazin said there were "good grounds" for reservations against Muslims across Europe.

"There is no other religion with such a flowing transition to violence, dictatorship, and terrorism," he claimed, before making the equally provocative assertion that Muslim immigrants were "associated with taking advantage of social welfare state and criminality."

Kolat praised the broader government response to Sarrazin's statements, including criticisms voiced by the SPD leadership, the Green Party, the Left and integration commissioner Maria Böhmer, as well as Angela Merkel herself.

"I'm very pleased that the German chancellor spoke so clearly of defamation," he said. Kolat also thanked the Central Council of Jews in Germany for its clear condemnation of Sarrazin's comments.

Lest the Social Democrats alienate migrant voters, Kolat said he was confident that his party would take further steps to kick Sarrazin out of the SPD. "He'll go himself, or he'll be made to leave," he said. The Bundesbank official survived a previous attempt this year to revoke his party membership for previous controversial comments.

Sarrazin's book, "Deutschland schafft sich ab - Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen", or “Abolishing Germany - How we're putting our country in jeopardy,” is scheduled for publication on Monday. Kolat encouraged a media boycott of the press conference planned to announce the book's official release.

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