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Turkish PM shocks Europe.

The Prime Minister of Turkey spoke to 10,000 Turkish immigrants living in Germany. He told them to “learn Turkish before German,” and “resist assimilation.” In other words, Turkish immigrants should view themselves as a conquering invader, not an immigrant.

The statements follow recent remarks by the heads of Germany, France, England, Spain, Czech Republic, Malaysia, and Israel that “multiculturalism” has failed in their nations.

From UK Guardian…

“You must integrate, but I am against assimilation … no one may ignore the rights of minorities,” he said, adding that individuals should have the right to practise their own faith.

“Our children must learn German but they must learn Turkish first,” said Erdogan.

He added: “I want you to learn German, that your children learn German – they should study, get degrees. I want you to become doctors, professors and politicians in Germany.”

Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, promptly hit back, saying that the children of the 3.5-million-strong Turkish community should focus on German to improve their chances in life.

“Children growing up in Germany must learn German first,” he said. “The German language is the key to integration for those growing up in Germany.”

The row threatened to overshadow Erdogan’s Germany trip. He is due to meet the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who caused controversy in October when she said that multiculturalism in Germany had “utterly failed”.

Though his speech reflected Turkey’s unease about what many Turks perceive to be Europe’s increasing xenophobia, it was also an attempt to drum up votes.

There is a general election in Turkey in June and for the first time Turks abroad will be able to vote at Turkish consulates.

Germany, with almost two million eligible voters, will be the fourth largest constituency after Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

Erdogan is offering as part of his manifesto a better deal for Turks abroad – specifically, a new “blue card”, which is a kind of dual nationality identity card that would allow Turks with German passports more rights back in Turkey.