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Readers Oppose Turkish Schools in Germany

When Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Germany this week, he sparked discussion on integration and took heat for his proposal to start Turkish schools in Germany. Here's what some DW readers had to say.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Erdogan called on Turks in Germany not to give up their ethnicity

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

As an American who grew up in a small town with many first generation Italian and Greek immigrants, I am familiar with the issue of integration. It was my experience that my contemporaries whose parents came from the "old country" spoke Italian or Greek at home. They learned English from the radio, TV, playmates and school. Notwithstanding that they spoke their parents' language at home and carried on many of the parents' traditions, their parents encouraged them to learn American culture and to "fit in." They did fit in; no one cared what they spoke at home, and today you wouldn't know that their parents didn't come over on the Mayflower. Integration does not mean you forget where you family came from, it is adapting to where you are. -- James Fraser, US

Turkish students studying German

Some 2.4 million Turks make up the largest minority group in Germany

I think the Turkish authorities have to understand what the German authorities are saying because every country has the way they do things. Having schools with a mother tongue in another country is far from the game. Globally, they say when in Rome, do like Romans, so I think if you are in Germany, do like the Germans. -- Victor C. Okeke, Nigeria

Erdogan is very much correct. Turkish people should not give up their culture and identity. He should work to integrate as many back into Turkish society as possible. -- Ed Mueller, US

The Germans are out of their mind if they would allow such schools. Can you imagine Germans immigrating to the US and demanding German-speaking schools? Turks in Germany must accept that they are becoming Germans and if they don't want to become Germans, let them go to Turkey. -- Peter, New Zealand

A woman mourns at the coffin with the remains of a victim killed by a fire in front of the burnt house in Ludwigshafen, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008.

Before Erdogan's visit, nine Turks were killed in a fire in Ludwigshafen on Feb. 3

The Turks in Germany should learn German. They chose to live there. If they get their own schools, they will soon want their own government, their own land, their own country within Germany. -- Andrea Weidner, US

Erdogan's proposal is not only counterproductive to the goals of integration but it is an obvious indication of the goals of Turkey. Turkey is unwilling to create common ground with Europe. They expect Europeans to change so as to accommodate Turkish demands, culture language, and laws. It should become obvious that Turkey, a nation that will not allow a Greek Orthodox seminary to reopen, a nation which is based on the tenant "Turkey for the Turks" and has systematically persecuted its minorities with discriminatory laws, cannot be allowed to have a say in the lives of the people of Europe. -- M. G. Ikossi, US

I was born Turkey but have lived in the US for 48 years. Here, Americans complain that Spanish-speaking immigrants do not know English. When you are in the US, you should learn English right away. If parents do not know the new language and want their children to know their mother language, this is understandable, but these kids are going to live in US (or Germany). They have to compete with Germans or Americans. Today I see Turkish kids in Germany who cannot speak decent German. When Turks complain that their children cannot go to high school and college, what do they expect? Now Erdogan wants Germany to have Turkish middle schools. If German does that, I really do not know what to say. -- Engin Sor, US

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