Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Erdogan Claims International Law Protects the Language of People of Turkish Origin Living Elsewhere

I wrote last week about Erdogan's visit to Germany and the negative impression he had made.

Erdogan gave a very interesting interview to the Rheinische Post which I have only just discovered. I have translated excerpts of it below:

Interviewer: Do you see yourself as the president of the Turks living in Germany?

Erdogan: Of course I am the president of all citizens of the republic of Turkey, wherever in the world they are.

Of the roughly three million Turks in Germany, many already have a German passport. Who should these citizens be loyal to, Germany or Turkey?

Erdogan: The norms in relation to the loyalty of migrants to the countries in which they are living have changed. Even when these people have accepted citizenship in their new home, there is a global consensus today that they should retain their mother tongue and culture. In this context, it is important to us that even those Turks with a German passport maintain both of those things, and we support them in this. At this point, I would like to point out that in France, Holland and other EU countries, double citizenship is permitted.

Three years ago, you already gave a speech about integration in Germany. That was in Cologne. At that time you provoked a lot of criticism with the phrase: "Assimilation is a crime against humanity". What is so bad about assimilation, if it takes place without compulsion?

Erdogan: In international law there is the provision that, in the countries in which they are living, migrants should maintain the language and culture of their country of origin. Consequently a policy designed to deprive them of their language and culture would be an infringement of international law.

It has long been though that integration was only a question of time. But even in the third generation of Turks in Germany there are still huge problems with it. What went wrong with integration?

Erdogan: It was wrong that for the integration of Turks in Germany, the German authorities did not take into account the views, expectations and needs of the Turks as the target group. As of today the German authorities in questions of integration also do not take into account the views of the responsible authorities in Turkey. For successful integration, I think it is necessary that in future the German authorities do not act unilaterally, but rather aim for cooperation with the Turkish migrants, the Turkish civil organisations and the Turkish government.

These are some quite extraordinary statements. He is now barely attempting to disguise the fact that he thinks even people of Turkish descent who are German citizens should be loyal to him and Turkey. And his claim that international law requires migrants to maintain their language and culture is utterly bizarre. What international law is this? And he demands that European governments consult with him on questions of domestic policy!

Regardless, it should be completely clear at this point that Turkish migrants represent a kind of fifth column within European society and their movement abroad represents imperial-style colonisation in which they are expected to exhibit loyalty to a foreign power. Any European government should feel fully entitled to completely cut off the flow of Turkish migrants.

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