Chancellor Angela Merkel urged people with Turkish roots who are longtime German residents to be loyal to Germany, while pledging in comments published Tuesday also to listen to their concerns.

 

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Merkel’s comments come during a tense period in German-Turkish relations and amid concerns that domestic political arguments in Turkey could spill onto German streets.

 

Ankara was angered by the German Parliament’s vote in June to label the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as genocide. It also has bristled at criticism of the scope of its crackdown following a coup attempt, and complained of a lack of support from the West.

 

Germany is home to roughly 3 million people with Turkish roots.

 

“We expect of people of Turkish origin who have long lived in Germany that they develop a high degree of loyalty to our country,” Merkel was quoted as telling the daily Ruhr Nachrichten.

 

“We try to have an open ear for their concerns and to understand them,” she added, noting that the government “keeps in close contact with immigrant organizations.”