Germany's Turks indignant at comments by Bundesbank board member
Oct 1, 2009, 12:16 GMT
Berlin - Germany's Turkish community expressed indignation on Thursday over derogatory comments by Thilo Sarrazin, an outspoken board member of the German central bank, or Bundesbank.
Sarrazin, 64, had said in an interview that many of Berlin's Turkish and Arab population were 'unwilling, and unable to integrate,' and worsened conditions in the German capital.
'This is outrageous,' said Kenan Kolat, who heads the Turkish Association in Germany.
'Sarrazin often overshoots the mark and gives no thought to the consequences of his statements,' Kolat told German Press Agency dpa.
'A large number of Arabs and Turks in this city, whose number has grown through bad policies, have no productive function other than as fruit and vegetable vendors,' Sarrazin told the culture magazine Lettre International.
'Forty per cent of all births occur in the underclasses,' Sarrazin said of Berlin, adding that this was dragging down standards of education.
'Our educated population is becoming stupider from generation to generation,' the former politician added.
While migrant families from East European, Vietnamese, Chinese and Indian backgrounds had integrated within a generation, Sarrazin said the children and even grandchildren of Turkish and Arab immigrants failed to learn decent German and did badly at school.
The Turkish-German Employers' Association and the regional Turkish Association for Berlin-Brandenburg rejected Sarrazin's remarks.
'This is absolutely below the belt line and the content is absolute rubbish,' said Safter Cinar of the regional Turkish Association.
Sarrazin, who was Berlin's finance minister until he joined the Bundesbank earlier this year, said 70 per cent of Turks and 90 per cent of the Arabic population rejected the German state.
'The solution to this problem can only be: no more moving (to Berlin), and those who want to marry should do so abroad,' Sarrazin added.
The Bundesbank disassociated itself from Sarrazin's remarks.
'The German Bundesbank distances itself decidedly in both content and form from the discriminatory comments of Dr Thilo Sarrazin,' the central bank said on Wednesday.
The banker, known for his barbed comments, stoked resentment in 2002 when he took up his ministerial role in the capital.
'Nowhere do you see so many people scuffling around in tracksuits as you do in Berlin,' he said at the time.