Paris: Erdogan urges Turks to "integrate but not assimilate"

Paris: Erdogan urges Turks to "integrate but not assimilate"

Erdogan talks of integration, but he also told the European Turks in the audience that they should "integrate" in the countries where they live in order to increase [the quantity of] Turkish first names in Europe. (FR)

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Integrate into a society by learning its language and becoming involved in its social life but never assimilate, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said while addressing the Turkish community in Paris.

The prime minister spoke to an audience of 6,000 ethnic Turks living in France at the Zenith Arena late on Wednesday, the second day of his visit to France. Met with great applause when he stepped onto the stage, Erdoğan talked about the rise of Turkey and urged the French Turks to become better represented in the economic, political and social life of the country they are living in.

Stressing that assimilation is different from integration, Erdoğan said no one can demand that a person assimilate. "The demand to assimilate is a crime against humanity," he said. "No one can ask you to abandon your values, your culture." Erdoğan said if they want to live in harmony with the society they are living with, they need to integrate into the society in the best way possible.

Reminding his audience that France allows dual citizenship, Erdoğan criticized those who do not apply for French citizenship. "Apply, my brothers. Apply! Use the right to vote and to get elected that France has granted you. This is a great asset, make use of it," Erdoğan stressed. The prime minister said being a French citizen will not deprive them of their identity. "Why shouldn't there be some amongst you running for the European Parliament?" Erdoğan asked, urging the Turkish community to be better represented and integrate into French society.


Source: Today's Zaman (English)

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