Turkish group demands apology from Seehofer
Published: 11 Oct 10 08:45 CET
Outraged Turkish groups and German politicians on Monday demanded an
apology from Horst Seehofer after the conservative Bavarian state premier
suggested over the weekend Germany put a stop to immigration for Turks and
Seehofer, who belongs to the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor
Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, told news magazine Focus that
"immigrants from other cultures, such as those from Turkey and Arab
countries have more difficulties" integrating into German culture.
Therefore he had drawn the "conclusion that we need no additional
immigration from other cultural areas."
On Monday chairman of the Turkish Community in Germany (TGD), Kenan Kolat,
demanded an apology.
"The latest comments by Seehofer are defamatory and unacceptable," he told
daily Berliner Zeitung, speaking of an attempt to stigmatise certain
ethnic groups and trump former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin's
inflammatory assertions about Muslim immigrants.
Meanwhile politicians from across the spectrum expressed their dismay over
Germany's Christian Democratic commissioner for integration, Maria Böhmer,
said she was "very shocked," while Seehofer's fellow CSU party member and
parliamentary liaison at the Interior Ministry Ole Schröder accused
Seehofer of trying to talk around his own state's problems with
Bavarian Free Democrat and Justice Minister Sabine
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger called Seehofer's words an "intentionally
simplified populist debate."
Opposition parties the environmentalist Greens and the centre-left Social
Democrats accused the Bavarian leader of pandering to far-right populism.
But other members of Seehofer's Christian Social Union defended him. Head
of the CSU's parliamentary group, Hans-Peter Friedrich, told daily
Hamburger Abendblatt that his party leader was "absolutely right."
Instead of allowing more immigrants from abroad, Germany should focus on
bringing in other European workers, he suggested.
"These people are easier to integrate into Germany than those who come
from foreign cultural groups," he said.
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