Turkish PM in Germany: "Assimilation is a crime"

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"Erdogan cheered by 16,000 Turks in Cologne," from Expatica (thanks to all who sent this in):

Cologne, Germany -- A crowd of 16,000 expatriate Turks cheered Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a vast indoor auditorium in Germany on Sunday as he told them to resist assimilation into the West.

The political rally by Germany's biggest ethnic minority upset German politicians, who objected to a major public event on German soil being advertised on posters in Turkish only.

Erdogan indirectly addressed those concerns, saying it was right for Turkish immigrants to learn German and other languages so they could integrate, but wrong to abandon their Turkish heritage and assimilate.

"Assimilation is a crime against humanity," he told the crowd. Many Turks had travelled from France, Belgium and the Netherlands to hear his hour-long address in the shiny venue, the Koelnarena.

"I can well understand that you are against assimilation," he said. "It is important to learn German, but your Turkish language should not be neglected."

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