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Angela Merkel vs. Recep Erdogan February 2, 2010

Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Turkey.
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According to the survey “At Home in Europe – Muslims in Europe” conducted by the London-based Open Society Institute, 75% of Muslims living in Germany do not identify themselves with Germans. Referring to the survey, the Yerkramas newspaper published by the Armenian community in Russia, Germany showed the worst result, as Muslims feel more “at home” in all the other European states. Specifically, 70% of Muslims residing in London, and 82% residing in Leicester, identify themselves with the British.

Boris Kharkovsky, expert for the Center of Ethnic & Political Studies, gives a simple explanation: unlike other European countries, most of the Muslims residing in Germany are ethnic Turks. “Most of the Muslims residing in Germany do not identify themselves with their country of residence, as they are Turks. During their history Turks have shown aggression toward other peoples – both inside and outside Turkey. We can only remember regular Armenian, Greek, Assyrian, Kurd genocides, Turks’ wars with their neighbors, invasion of Cyprus, xenophobia reigning in the country,” the expert said.

Turks retain this mentality outside Turkey as well, which is greatly supported by the Turkish authorities’ pan-Turkic inclinations, Kharkovsky said. “They in Germany well remember Turkish Premier Recep Erdogan’s visit in 2008. Speaking before 20,000 Turks at a Köln stadium, the Turkish Premier called on his nationals to resist integration into the German society, receive education in Turkish and realize their power. ‘You are three millions already,’ stated Erdogan,” Kharkovsky said. His statement caused indignation among Turkish politicians. Wolfgang Schäuble, who was then Federal Minister of the Interior, stated that “Erdogan brought Turkish nationalism to the German land.” He expressed doubts that a state with leaders holding views like that would hardly joint the European Union.

Angela Merkel had to remind the Turkish Premier that she was still Chancellor of Germany and, therefore, of the Turks residing in the country. “If a person comes to Germany, he or she must observe the country’s laws instead of hearing foreign statesmen’s prompts – what he or she must or must not do, to what extent to integrate and how to behave,” Merkel said.

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