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Berlin opera house reaches out to Turkish minority
1.       si++
3785 posts
 01 Apr 2011 Fri 11:19 am

Berlin opera house reaches out to Turkish minority

Berlin´s avant-garde Komische Oper opera house said Tuesday it plans to reach out to the German capital´s large Turkish minority with translations of performances on screens at every seat.


BERLIN- In a first for Germany, wracked for months by a debate on the integration of its Muslim community, the move would underline the Komische Oper´s long-standing aim of being an "opera house for all," it said.

"This is a symbolic gesture, a signal that we are sending (to the Turkish community) to say ´we hear you,´" artistic director Andreas Homoki told AFP.

"The level of German within Turkish families differs a lot. Children and young people speak it very well but their grandmothers, for example, often have problems," he said.

"So what we want is for the grandmother to be able to go to the opera with her grandchildren."

English and French translations will also be available from September for the many tourists visiting the German capital, the opera house in central Berlin said.

Berlin´s 300,000-strong Turkish minority is the largest in a city outside Turkey, with many living in the "Little Istanbul" Kreuzberg district, part of a community numbering some 2.5 million nationwide.

A member of the central bank sparked outrage last August by saying the country was being made "more stupid" by its four million poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants, triggering a nationwide debate.

Thilo Sarrazin resigned and was shunned by politicians but his book -- "Germany Does Itself In" -- flew off the shelves to top best-seller lists, and polls showed considerable sympathy for some of his views.


Source: here

2.       si++
3785 posts
 20 Jul 2011 Wed 10:09 pm

No Kebab for Sarrazin

"Get lost!" and "Nazis out!" were among the epithets lobbed at controversial author Thilo Sarrazin during a recent trip to Berlin´s Kreuzberg district, according to newspaper reports on Monday. The city´s former finance senator had taken a trip to the area with broadcaster ZDF to film a TV special ahead of the one-year anniversary of the publication of his controversial book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" ("Germany Does Itself In").

The memory of the book´s content, which sparked massive controversy in Germany for what many called its anti-immigrant sentiments, was apparently still fresh in the minds of some residents of the district, known for its high concentration of Muslim immigrants.

Accompanied by Turkish-German journalist Güner Balci, Sarrazin took a tour of the district, stopping by a Turkish market where he wrote in Die Welt he was yelled at by an "angry man in his fifties" whom he dubbed "the squaller," before a group of other "politically correct" market patrons joined in, calling him a racist until he and the camera team left.

The show´s camera team then followed Sarrazin to the popular Turkish restaurant Hasir, where they had planned a talk with co-owner Ahmet Aygün, who runs a number of successful restaurants across the city with his five brothers. But before they reached the eatery, a "well-dressed" couple of "obviously Turkish decent" began shouting at him, he wrote. The woman, who "seemed intellectual in a somewhat anemic way," called him a "racist," and the man called for him to leave Kreuzberg, Sarrazin reported.

´Like Beaten Dogs´

"A rational discussion was impossible," he added.

The couple´s outrage at Sarrazin´s entry into the restaurant drew such a crowd that the management apparently became uncomfortable. "We Turks are usually very hospitable, but I don´t think I can serve you," one of the managers reportedly said.

Sarrazin and the television crew left the restaurant "like beaten dogs," Sarrazin wrote. "Under pressure, the loyalty of this successful German-Turkish businessman belongs more to the rioters of his own ethnic group that to his German guest," he added.

On Monday, manager Mehmet Özkan told the mass-circulation tabloid Bild that the situation became "too hot" and that he had asked Sarrazin to leave. "I didn´t want rumors in Kreuzberg that he eats in our restaurant," he told the paper. A crowd reportedly also blocked the TV crew from entering a center for the Turkish Alevi community.

The reaction of the crowds to Sarrazin´s presence highlights how unpopular his book has been within Germany´s immigrant community. Details include his theories on integration and heredity, which claim that Muslims have a deficient level of education compared to ethnic Germans and that intelligence is largely hereditary. The result, he wrote, is that all of German society is becoming dumber, particularly because Muslim immigrants in the country have higher birthrates.


Source: here

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