Two unamalgamated worlds

– I wrote a piece the other day entitled Immigration and Assimilation in which I discussed the problems that can arise when immigration rates are too high.

– Here’s a nice follow on which describes what’s going on in Germany now between the native Germans and the imported Turks.

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HE DID not plan it that way. But when Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, arrived in Germany for an official visit in February he found the Turkish community in turmoil. A few days before his arrival nine Turks, five of them children, had died in a fire in the south-western city of Ludwigshafen. A hate crime, many Turks suspected. The month before, Roland Koch, the conservative premier of the state of Hesse, had tried to win re-election by promising to deport foreign criminals (two-thirds of Turks do not have German citizenship). The transparent appeal to xenophobia backfired, costing Mr Koch his majority and perhaps his job.

Mr Erdogan both calmed tempers and inflamed them. In Ludwigshafen he reassured sceptical Turks that German police and firemen could be trusted. But then he seemed to urge them to hold themselves aloof from German society. Assimilation was a “crime against humanity”, he told a crowd of 16,000 in Cologne. Turkish children should be able to study in Turkish-language schools and at a Turkish university. With that, he largely wore out his welcome. Politicians across the spectrum accused him of fomenting Turkish nationalism on German soil. Perhaps, some mused, the European Union should suspend membership talks with Turkey.

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