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Turkish president urges integration, respect for Turks in Germany

The Local · 16 Sep 2011, 15:48

Published: 16 Sep 2011 15:48 GMT+02:00

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In a joint interview with the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Gül said Turks had been in Germany for so long that they should play a vital role in its society.

“Today it should be the case that German citizens with Turkish roots should speak accent-free German,” he said.

But he added that children need to begin the integration process in Kindergarten in order for it to really take hold. “If Turks in Germany aren’t sending their children to kindergarten, we have to find out why,” he said.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has in the past raised hackles by telling Turks in Germany they should resist assimilation and ensure their children preserved their Turkish language and culture.

Gül now appears to be attempting a more diplomatic tone, although he also made a few sharp statements in his interview, emphasizing his view that Germans haven’t shown enough respect for the contributions of Turkish guest workers who began arriving in the 1960s.

“They helped Germany to get back on its feet,” he told Die Zeit.

In an interview with the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday, Gül added that he was concerned about perceived rising anti-Muslim sentiment, not just in Germany but in all of Europe, calling it a “disease that erupts from time to time.”

He also said that Turkey was committed to pursuing membership in the European Union, despite opposition from some quarters in Germany and elsewhere on the continent.

Story continues below…

“The EU, with half a billion people should not fear a country of 60 to 70 million citizens,” he said.

What is the ideal example of a positive Turkish-German relationship? Gül pointed to football sensation Mesut Özil who plays for the German national team, calling him a “very good example of integration.”

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

22:02 September 16, 2011 by southsiderefugee
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
08:10 September 17, 2011 by marimay
Sounds like someone's holding onto grandma's grudges. What a way to live.
08:57 September 17, 2011 by Bigfoot76
"Germans haven¦#39;t shown enough respect for the contributions of Turkish guest workers" Danke für den Döner.
09:20 September 17, 2011 by Gretl
I have as much problem with this as when President Fox told the US how we should run our immigration policy (because illiegal immigrants sending money home to Mexico was/is a large part of their economy). Either they are citizen of the US and Germany, and you have no say, or they are YOUR people and you should bring them home.
10:13 September 17, 2011 by Edin
And here we go again...

as soon as there is an article about Turks we have all of you sharing a deep care for Germany and its assimilation policy. Oh wait, but what about you? So you speak no German (being here on The Local), all your comments express how well you care about your own language, culture and religion. Providing that you are now living in Germany for some time, let me then ask you few more questions:

Will your kids learn only German or also your language???

Will they know/practice your religious/ cultural heritage???

Will you raise them as German???

Even though you may have more compatibility with Germans in some of the issues above, you are I can bet in anything, no better than majority of Turks here. So last question:

How does it feel to be a Hypocrite, besides being a racist or xenophobe?
11:08 September 17, 2011 by crm114
Edin, you do "all of us" a great injustice, it's not only Turks.
12:03 September 17, 2011 by mobiusro
I'm only saying this: Respect is earned, not given.
15:57 September 17, 2011 by ChuChu
"disease that errupts from time to time" Yes, that describe the Turkish problem. Oh, and yes they have contributed with one or two things, and thank you, you have been paid generously with all the social payments etc etc......NO GO HOME!!!! and build up your own country so you don't have to leave your own country to polute other societies in Europe with Islam! thank you and goodbye!
16:02 September 17, 2011 by Englishted

1.My children speak German first ,English second.

2.I hope they don't start to believe. English and German culturally are very much the same,as is most of North western Europe (or was).

3 The one child born here has a German passport, goes to German school etc.

You lose your bet.

But you may have a point on my dislike of the way some religions arrive and try to impose their rules on our society.If that is xenophobic then so be it .

However I am no racist and don't like people saying it just because they disagree with my opinion.
17:22 September 17, 2011 by libsarescum
You love your Turks? Take them back!!
17:33 September 17, 2011 by _scythe_
Turkish leaders are quite persistent in their pursuit for neo-osmanism. But I don't think Germany has to be afraid, at least not yet, but the Balkan states. Turkey desires expansion on the Balkans, where live muslim minorities and there are muslim political parties. What will Turkey try to do is not confront Germany, or any other powerful European state, directly, but make it close a vigilant eye, when neo-osmanism policies are performed elsewhere.
18:41 September 17, 2011 by nec123
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:19 September 17, 2011 by Asgarli
@mobiusro is right, respect is earned, not given. Germans have to try harder for Turks to respect them enough to try to integrate.
19:25 September 17, 2011 by Gretl
Edin - I don't see how telling a foreign head of state to mind their own business is hypocritical, rascist or xenophobe. Either they are Germans or Turks. If they are German citizens, then he needs to STFU.
21:10 September 17, 2011 by ChuChu
How terrified people become when the big "RACIST" phrase is thrown at them..they cringe and look away and ALWAYS say "So sorry, I'm not a racist" Well now...what is a racist other that a person that defends their own race..what in heavens name is so wrong about that???must EVERYTHING be basterdised? The Turks live in Turkey, the French live in France and The Germans live in Germany but you don't see hundreds of thousands of Europeans trying to crash the borders to North Africa and the Middle East....I wonder why? But they certainly love coming to Europe and COMPLAIN that we don't give them enough of what they DON"T deserve. OH GO HOME!
09:08 September 18, 2011 by Rob99
Dear Chuchu:

The only countries which have right to Nationalist (versus Multicultural) are those which never colonized or occupied any other country like for example Poland, Norway, Sweden, Finland etc.

All the other countries in Europe HAS to be multicultural.

Re: ¦quot;you don't see hundreds of thousands of Europeans trying to crash the borders to North Africa and the Middle East¦quot; Really! Please read some history……… It wasn¦#39;t long ago, that¦#39;s exactly what they did.

You can¦#39;t occupy lands, loot them and retrieve back only to be left alone. It shouldn¦#39;t work that way.
12:36 September 18, 2011 by Enough
When Turks start respecting Germans and their culture and NOT trying to push their Islamic based views on everyone, they will get more respect. Just kills me to watch ethnic Germans (but not Geman Citzens) get treated worse than a bunch of Turks.
20:01 September 18, 2011 by brnskin2010
Why should Germany allow the Turks 2 be integrated? I think it's rather bold for the Turkish President to even make that suggest. No one can dictate to him how to run Turkey and if Muslims were extremists other countries would be more open 2 deal with them...BUT THEY R NOT.....thats my opinion.....i recommend that everyone take the time to read their bibles...you know the one thats sitting on the mantle .....dusty......go back to the old testament....read why the creator commanded the Jews not to allow heathen nations to enter into the fold.....or why he cursed Ishmael's (1st born of Abram...2 hagar ...egyptian woman)children( he had 12 sons....same as Issac(blessed) born 2 Sarah who was of jewish linage and the promise was given 2....I say that 2 say this....IT'S NOT WISE 2 ALLOW ALL NATIONALITES,CREEDS,CULTURES INTO YOUR COUNTRY....(i.e.U.S.A) 2 bring IN their own beliefs.....the creator warned the Jews/hebrews/israel not 2 do that....b/c they would come in and corrupt......just sayn....
20:28 September 18, 2011 by bayernheidi
@Edin - most of those you address are probably not here for "a better life" (as are most Turks), but because their work brings them here. Therefore, you are comparing apples to oranges.
05:34 September 19, 2011 by nathan45
In my opinion if the government had the economy set up better with a more semi socialist way of doing things so we wouldnt need to try to compete with countries like China and this goes for almost any country we wouldnt need immigrants. If we dont do other things like improve benifits for women to encourage them to have 2 kids then we will end up just like the native Americans virtualy gone. Around 2 weeks ago I was watching the news and it said that in just 20 years 1 in 3 people in canada will be a minority. This disturbes me to know that out great culture which shaped the modern world may fade away in only a half century.
10:11 September 19, 2011 by peeboy
@ chuchu:

Then all the people who live in the US with german roots but have german passport should also go back to germany. Why not put the iron curtain back on this time all around germany. dont let any one leave or come in.
20:01 September 19, 2011 by Englishted

Not long ago ,hundreds of thousands of Europeans tried to crash the borders of the middle East and North Africa.

Where do you read your history? ,that statement is bull !.

But please do supply your source just so I can laugh.
10:00 September 27, 2011 by amantee
Migration and Integration are the main tasks of our generation. Sad to see the arrogance of Germans once again here. They haven't understood the attempt of Gül at all, because they don't even understand what it means to belong to another culture, to have a different heritage from them. Sad to see that school books in Germany get more and more ideologic, not only against Islam, but for instance also against socialism and the from west Germans distinctive culture of East Germans.
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