Turks in Germany urge changes to integration policy

29th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

They want more attention paid to the needs of the country's 1.7 million Turks.

Berlin -- Germany's Turkish community called Friday on the government to change its integration policy in order to pay more attention to the needs of the country's 1.7 million Turks.

A five-point proposal released in Berlin called for 10 percent of public service jobs to go to migrants as well as the introduction of Turkish lessons and a course called "intercultural life" in schools.

The aim was for Turks to enjoy the same rights and participation as others in society, said Kenan Kolat, chairman of the Association of Turkish Communities in Germany.

Statistics from 2006 show 1.7 million residents of Germany are Turkish nationals. Including those acquiring German nationality by birth or naturalization, the Turkish community totals 2.4 million in a population of 82 million.

Kolat said a recent spate of 17 fires in 24 days in housing complexes used by Turks, including one arson attack, had caused a great deal of unrest among the Turkish community.

Only in a few cases were the fires racially motivated, he said, but nonetheless Turks were living in fear and needed solidarity.

His comments came nearly four weeks after a blaze in the south- western city of Ludwigshafen claimed the lives of nine Turkish immigrants. Initial reports that the fire was started deliberately were not borne out by investigators.

Kenan said his organization would cooperate with Germany's trade unions in drafting a code of ethics that would require politicians to refrain from creating an anti-migrant sentiment.

Earlier this year, the state premier in Hesse, Roland Koch, caused outrage by highlighting crime committed by young foreigners when campaigning for re-election.

DPA with Expatica

0 Comments To This Article