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Written by: Diana West
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 4:57 AM 

At Here's the Right Side of It, John L. Work puts the global scene together in a collage of horrors that your morning paper won't ever feature, including this video from a typical German school (via Vlad Tepes):

John's solution here.

Meanwhile, while out bobblehead focus lingers on Germany for half asecond, note that Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip "Islam is Islam and that's it" Erdogan was in Dusseldorf on Sunday, where he received what Spiegel Online describes as a "rock star" welcome from 10,000 Turks in a sports arena on a campaign-like- rally that preceded his visit to Angela Merkel.

"They call you guest workers, foreigners, or German Turks. It doesn't matter what they all call you: You are my fellow citizens, you are my people, you are my friends, you are my brothers and sisters!"

"You are part of Germany, but you are also part [of] our great Turkey," says Erdogan. ...

If the speech sounded like a campaign speech,  maybe it was a campaign speech. Spiegel writes:

It sounds like a domestic campaign speech ahead of elections in Turkey this summer. Erdogan is wooing for votes among Germany's Turkish population. In previous elections, immigrants with Turkish passports flew to Ankara, Istanbul or Antalya just to cast their ballots at the airport.

That is why Erdogan keeps highlighting the successes of his government in his speech, and paints a picture of Turkey as a modern, major power. "We're not a country that draws on help, we provide help too," he says. And: "Now my compatriots are no longer traveling in buses, they go by plane." There are martial-sounding tones too: "Now Turkey will at last start building its own war planes."


In a newspaper interview published ahead of his speech, Erdogan urged Merkel to drop her opposition to Turkey's accession to the EU. "Never have such political obstacles been put in the path of an accession country," he said.

Gee, I wonder why...

Human rights, innovation, progress -- the rural way of life that many Turks now living in Germany left behind them in the 1960s, no longer exists, Erdogan told the crowd. "We mustn't cling to it anymore. I want you to learn German, that your children learn German, they must study, do their masters degrees. I want you to become doctors, professors and politicians in Germany," says Erdogan.

But all of that is just window-dressing; or not window-dressing, but Trojan-Horse-kit:

And then he repeats the sentence that caused such a stir at a speech he held in Cologne three years ago. He warns Turks against assimilating themselves. "Yes, integrate yourselves into German society but don't assimilate yourselves. No one has the right to deprive us of our culture and our identity."...

Perhaps more soothing than "assimilation is a crime against humanity," as Erdogan said in 2008.

And he has brought along a gift for his compatriots -- a kind of light-weight dual citizenship. The so-called "Blue Card," which gives Turks with German citizenship certain rights in Turkey, is to be upgraded. Holders of the card will, in the future, have the same rights as Turkish citizens in dealings with authorities and banks.

For minutes, confetti in the red and white Turkish national colors rains onto the stage. Erdogan's speech is over.

It was a call for more integration but with strict conditions attached. Adapt yourselves a bit, don't allow yourselves to be treated badly and if there's a problem, I'll come and help! It was a speech that did nothing to reinforce any feeling of belonging to Germany --

Ya think?

-- Erdogan steadfastly appealed to the Turkish national pride of people who have been at home in Germany for four generations.

He doesn't want Turks to belong to Germany. He wants Germany to belong to Turks.

One woman stood outside the hall with tears streaming down her face. "I don't need to go on a summer vacation this year. In my heart, I've just spent hours in Anatolia."

Not just in her heart.

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