When I first saw the headline, I assumed the proposal was about sending in German police agents of Turkish background. Following an article in on FrontPageMag, I went back to the original article. The proposal was indeed to bring in Turkish police officers from Turkey, but it is incorrect to say that everybody supports the idea. Both the local Turkish community and local politicians think the idea is absurd.
In fact, it's not only absurd, it's a statement by the police that those Turks are not really German. I'm surprised that nobody called out the police union out on their racism.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
Even before the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) police switched from green to blue uniforms, people were familiar with dark blue police uniforms. But the uniforms said 'politie' instead of 'polizei': since the mid 1990s, the NRW police work together with the Dutch police. You could see that when Dutch police agents accompanied their German colleagues, for example, patrolling demonstratively through the Christmas markets. Foreign police officers are present also during international football matches - not just during World Cup 2006, when 320 foreign police agents came.
Erich Rettinghaus, State Chairman of the German Police Union (DPolG) in NRW, wants to include Turkey in this system: Uniformed police agents from Turkey would patrol the so-called 'problem neighborhoods' together with German police agents, in order to take care of Turkish youth. "This is not a capitulation of the German police nor a type of failure, but a constructive attempt at new common ground," says Rettinghaus. "This is a good approach for acceptance from both the Turkish and German side."
Deniz Güner, NRW Chairman of the Turkish community in Germany thinks differently: "We thinks this is a totally wrong approach, as far as integration is concerned." The people that the Turkish police are supposed to reach are not foreigners but locals. The idea to bring police from Turkey, from abroad, to neighborhoods with a high proportion of immigrants, is therefore absurd. "We require the opposite: people of immigration background should be increasingly recruited into the police."
This position is supported by NRW's new interior minister, Ralf Jäger (SPD). "We need more police officers of immigrant background." In NRW, about 7% of the new recruits every year have an immigration background. Of the 1,100 agents, there are 80 such police agents. Of the future 1,400 agents, there will be 100 police agents of immigrant background in the service. Jäger says that they think this is sustainable. In Hamburg and Hessen, the ratio of immigrants in the police will be increased to 20% in the upcoming years. And in Berlin, there's already an 'intercultural competence test', to check knowledge of foreign languages, as part of the recruitment procedure.
Konrad Freiberg, chairman of the Federal Union of Police (GdP), stresses the importance of being acquainted with colleagues of immigrant background. Foreign police, he says, are 'really absurd'. "Naturally there are problems in certain neighborhoods, and with certain ethnic groups. But German police should cope with that." Otherwise, in cities such as Berlin, you'll need police officers from many countries, not just from Turkey, but also, for example, from Poland.
Rainer Wendt, national chairman of the DPolG, points out, however, that the NRW proposal would be 'experimental'. "The proposal just says: let's try it." It is important to have support from academic research in order to gain insights into the advantages of the proposal. This would be done by the NRW police academy. Wendt says that once they have the findings, they would see where the proposal should be implemented. But that is unlikely: this attempt would not be suitable, says the NRW interior ministry.
Ehrhart Körting (SPD), Berlin's Interior Senator, is against bringing in Turkish police agents. "Due to the monopoly of authority of the states in Germany, sovereign authority should only be exercised by German police," he said.
Körting says he doesn't see a solution in bringing in Turkish police. 115,000 Turks live in Berlin, making it one of the largest Turkish communities outside Turkey. Körting says the Red-Red coalition senate should put more emphasis on the intercultural competence of the civil service and police. Therefore, more recruiting should be done among immigrants. 8-10% of the new recruits in recent years have a migration background.
Sources: WELT, Berliner Morgenpost, h/t PI