In a new interview German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called upon Germans citizens who were both born in Turkey and are from a Turkish background to be loyal to Germany. The remark comes after several high profile protests in support of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government following the failed coup in Turkey last month.
Ms. Merkel has offered to “lend and ear” to migrant issues in return for the loyalty of Turkish Germans to the German state reports Die Presse.
“Of the Turkish community living in Germany for a long time, we expect them to develop a high degree of loyalty to our country,” the Chancellor said in a recent interview with German media. Merkel said that in return for their loyalty her government would “lend an ear” to the issues faced by migrants from the Turkish community in Germany.
During the interview Ms. Merkel spoke on a range of issues including her government stance on dual citizenship between German citizens and Turkey. A law was passed in 2014 that allows the children of foreign-born parents to hold dual nationality but several politicians from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) have expressed a desire to end the ability for Germans to become dual nationals.
Chancellor Merkel’s comments come in response to a wave of pro-Turkish protests in support of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the aftermath of the failed coup last month. At the end of last month thousands of Turks marched in Cologne in support of Erdogan and when the German government did not allow him to speak at the rally the Turkish government summoned the German envoy escalating a tense situation.
Another situation that has raised tensions between the two countries was the German parliament vote to recognize the Armenian genocide which took place during the First World War. President Erdogan slammed the German MPs of Turkish decent after the vote asking them to take a blood test to prove that they were, in fact Turkish.
In neighbouring Austria presidential candidate for the populist Freedom Party, Norbert Hofer called into question the loyalty of the Turkish diaspora in his country. Hofer talked about the results of mass migration into Austria and questioned how many of the protesters in Austria were more loyal to Erdogan than they were to the Austrian state.
The FPÖ candidate wrote on Facebook that as president he would look out for Austria’s interests saying, “As President I will make sure that the interests of Austria and the people in this country are protected. I’m not going to look the other way when it comes to violence and extremism.”