Germany: 'Speak German without an accent,' Turkish president tells Germany's Turks

Germany: 'Speak German without an accent,' Turkish president tells Germany's Turks

The Turks talk about language, but the Germans are worried about values.

Asked whether the growing negative sentiments (DE) against Muslims is endangering the chances of Turkey joining the EU, Gül answered that the EU, with half a billion people, should not fear a country of 60-70 million citizens.

But that's comparing apples to oranges. A country with "60-70 million citizens" (in fact, Turkey has more than 70 million residents) would be the 2nd biggest country in the EU, after Germany. And if German demographics continue the way they're going, Turkey will soon surpass them.

Via The Local:

Turkish President Abdullah Gül on Saturday encouraged Germany's 2.5-million-strong Turkish community to better integrate into German society.

"When one doesn't speak the language of the country in which one lives that doesn't serve anyone, neither the person concerned, the country, nor the society," Gül told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"That is why I tell them at every opportunity that they should learn German, and speak it fluently and without an accent. That should start at nurseries."

Gül also said that if German national team footballer of Turkish descent Mesut Özil "had asked me which side to play for, I would have encouraged him to play for Germany."

The Turkish president said Özil, who scored one of the German goals in their October 8 defeat of Turkey 3-0 in a Euro2012 qualifying match in Berlin, is "an example of very successful integration."

Gül also accused European politicians and intellectuals of lacking vision about Turkey joining the European Union. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Tuesday blamed Turkey's lagging accession negotiations with the European Union on its failure to undertake needed reforms, saying: "...the ball is in your court."