Merkel calls for loyalty from Turkish people in Germany

People living in Germany with Turkish origins should be loyal to their country of residence, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview on Tuesday.

"We expect people of Turkish origin living in Germany for a longer period to develop a high level of loyalty to our country," Merkel told daily newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten.

In exchange for loyalty from Germany's Turkish-origin residents, Merkel said her government would "try to keep an open ear for their needs and to understand them. We are already in close contact with migrant organizations for this purpose."

Germany is home to about 3 million people of Turkish heritage.

Merkel urged followers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Germany to remain peaceful. "Everybody in Germany has the right to an opinion and to demonstrate, but all people should also peacefully exercise their right to free speech," Merkel said.

German-Turkish relations have deteriorated in recent months amid disputes over migration, Berlin's decision to recognize the mass killing of ethnic Armenians a century ago as genocide, and Ankara's far-reaching purge of state institutions in response to a failed coup.

In early August, a court ruling stopped the Turkish president from addressing around 40,000 supporters at a Cologne rally over a live stream video link, causing further friction between Berlin and Ankara.

Last update: Tue, 23/08/2016 - 13:32

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