Members of local councils and Land parliaments with roots in Turkey are examples of successful integration. On Wednesday (29 March), they visited the Federal Foreign Office for talks with Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière and the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Aydan Özoğuz. The meeting focused on how the cohesion of our society can be further strengthened in the face of the current challenges.
Continuing success of Germany’s diverse society
Foreign Minister Gabriel stressed at the start of the meeting that Germany would not be as strong as it is today without all the people from other countries, especially Turkey, who helped to rebuild it after the war. In the light of the forthcoming referendum on Turkey’s constitution, therefore, the task was to ensure that the decades‑long success of Germany’s diverse society continues. In the past, talking directly to citizens with roots in Turkey had always proven to be the best way to examine integration and relations with Turkey.
Foreign policy and integration
It was a frank exchange at the interface between foreign policy and integration. The participation of the Interior Minister, the Commissioner for Integration and the Foreign Minister meant that there were three key representatives of the German Government at the table. There was certainly enough to discuss: Foreign Minister Gabriel ended up staying much longer than planned.
No parallel societies
A week ago, Sigmar Gabriel and Aydan Özoğuz met German business people with roots in Turkey. “We’ve done a lot recently for integration and cooperation in order to prevent parallel societies from developing in our country,” said Gabriel. Today’s meeting was a further step along this common road.