During a visit to
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
threatened to overshadow Erdogan's
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
It is currently impossible to hold both German and Turkish passports, and Turks who opt for a German one often find life difficult if they return to the country of their birth. (Generally this means working for lower wages and being treated as being impure. On the other hand these people are causing a lot of strife with German’s seeking to be oppressors, and committing criminal acts against German’s.
Erdogan's rhetoric seemed to go down well in Düsseldorf. "The Germans will never accept us but Erdogan does," one man told Der Spiegel.
Another said: "Finally someone feels responsible for us. For the first time a Turkish prime minister is not forgetting his countrymen abroad."
On Saturday, Erdogan made an even sharper criticism of German immigration policy, telling the Rheinische Post newspaper that forced integration requiring immigrants to suppress their culture and language violated international law.
Immigration leapt to the forefront of political debate in 2010 after the central banker Thilo Sarrazin published a bestselling book that argued German culture was at risk from Muslims, who he said were a drain on state coffers.
The debate left raw nerves on both sides. German politicians initially closed ranks to condemn Sarrazin's theories, but later many shifted rightwards in tone as polls showed he enjoyed widespread support. Sarrazin later stepped down.
Erdogan's newspaper comments were published
alongside those of a senior German politician who complained of discrimination
against Christians in
The Conservative parliamentary floor leader, Volker Kauder, told the same paper that land belonging to a Christian monastery in Turkey known as Mor Gabriel was being expropriated, which he said showed that the Muslim country lacked religious freedom.
"I urge the EU to not open
any more negotiation chapters with
Erdogan's speech came before a meeting with Merkel
scheduled for today, where
The two leaders have a fractious relationship. Last year Merkel made a tense visit to Turkey after Erdogan accused her of harbouring hatred towards Turks.