Nyvalgte Helmut Kohl avslørte for Margaret Thatcher i 1982 at han hadde planer om å sende tilbake halvparten av den tyrkiske befolkningen på halvannen million. Grunn: de lot seg ikke integrere.
Planen finnes beskrevet i britenes referat fra møtet. Dokumentene er frigitt av britiske myndigheter etter tredve år. I Tyskland er de fortsatt sensitive. De stiller Kohl i et uheldig lys.
Der Spiegel forsikrer beklemt at holdningen til tyrkerne er en helt annen idag enn den gang. Mon det.
Behandlingen Thilo Sarrazin fikk da han påpekte tuskeøkonomien tyrkerne står, tyder på at status er den samme. Men det er blitt mye vanskeligere å si det høyt.
It was a controversial plan that the newly elected German chancellor, Helmut Kohl, confided to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during her visit to Bonn, then the West German capital. «Chancellor Kohl said (…) over the next four years, it would be necessary to reduce the number of Turks in Germany by 50 percent — but he could not say this publicly yet,» state the secret minutes of the meeting dated Oct. 28, 1982.
It adds: «It was impossible for Germany to assimilate the Turks in their present numbers.» Only four people were in the room at the time: Kohl, his longtime adviser Horst Teltschik, Thatcher and her private secretary A.J. Coles, the author of the document.
The file, labeled «PREM 19/1036,» smells musty. For three decades, the records of the 1982 and 1983 meetings between Kohl and Thatcher have been sealed, inaccessible to ordinary people. But now that the period of confidentiality has expired, the British National Archives has made them available to the public.
The minutes of the Thatcher meeting outline how Kohl intended to get hundreds of thousands of Turks out of Germany. But they also cast light on how the relationship between the Germans and their Turkish compatriots has improved over the past three decades. Because to a contemporary German sensibility, the apparent social consensus in Kohl’s West Germany seems quite far to the right.
‘No Problems with the Portuguese’
According to the document, Kohl wanted the Turks out. «Germany had no problems with the Portuguese, the Italians, even the Southeast Asians, because these communities integrated well,» wrote minute-keeper Coles of the chancellor, who had only been in office for four weeks. «But the Turks came from a very distinctive culture and did not integrate well. […] Germany had integrated some 11 million Germans from East European countries. But they were European and therefore presented no problem.»
Kohl listed forced marriages and illegal employment by Turks as examples of «a clash of two different cultures.» One out of every two should leave, said the chancellor, and those who remain should be provided special schooling. «Those who were to be integrated must learn German.»
The Rhineland native apparently didn’t think too highly of immigrants from Turkey’s Anatolia region, which made up the country’s largest segment of so-called guest workers. Back when Kohl was merely an opposition leader for the center-right Christian Democratic Union — today the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel — he described them as «incapable of integration and, incidentally, unwilling to integrate.» And in his first policy speech, two weeks before the meeting with Thatcher, he said, «Integration is only possible if the number of foreigners living among us does not increase further.»
Et interessant spørsmål er hvorfor Kohl innstilte planen. Hva skjedde? Og hvis konsensus er blitt så mye mer tyrkervennlig, hvordan kunne Recep Tayyip Erdogan i 2011 oppfordre tyrkerne til ikke å la seg assimilere?