• Germany's news in English

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

The Local · 12 Oct 2010, 08:40

Published: 12 Oct 2010 08:40 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“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.

Story continues below…

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


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:54 October 12, 2010 by NYsteve
I agree....just as immigrants who came to the US at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries......they came to America....retained their own heritage, customs and language but also learned English and how to function in a different society. This idea should also apply to those immigrating to Germany....keep your heritage, etc but learn German, learn German history, German culture, etc....this is your new home...be proud of it!
15:17 October 12, 2010 by munichiscool
just wait friends ......... Garbage is going to start :) I am missing "mehta_p" very much.......... hello hello :)
17:03 October 12, 2010 by ww77ww
USA became strong via the integration of immigrants. They retained cultural pride but were able to adapt to a new world. This is what works, multiculti will not be the same. Kudos to Bagis for being a sane voice of reason.
02:44 October 13, 2010 by Prufrock2010
With all due respect, the analogy between the US and Germany vis-a-vis immigration is specious. America was a land whose indigenous populations were eradicated by the European immigrants. Those that were not eradicated were eventually conquered and marginalized into oblivion. Germany is a distinctly different story, comprised of many diverse cultures that go back to the time of the Roman colonization. Germany's advanced culture since the time of the Reformation was neither built nor strengthened by immigration. After World War II, Germany adopted extremely liberal immigration policies to accommodate much-needed "guest workers" from Turkey to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed in the war. The German culture was not supplanted by the immigrants, as was the case with the indigenous people of America.

With that in mind, I agree that those who emigrate to Germany should do everything in their power to adapt to the laws, customs and mores of their adopted home, while still retaining their cultural pride. That is the essence of assimilation. It is not a license to do what the European immigrants did in America; namely to eradicate the existing cultures and replace them with their own.
09:09 October 13, 2010 by wood artist
Pruf, you're spot on. Immigrants to the United States were expected to help "create" a country, unfortunately at the expense of the native population. They did integrate amongst themselves, but still held strong racists views, both with regard to native Americans and Negros. Only now are those being broken down.

As you observed, the German situation, especially with regard to the Turkish community, is different. Hopefully there is a middle ground, where Germans can become more accepting while immigrants "work harder" on becoming fuller members of German society. There is a lot of good in this conversation if both sides can get past the name-calling and stereotyping.

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd