Violence erupts after mourning: Germany's President urges rights for Turks - Victims of tyranny caught in continent's rules
Friday 04 June 1993
The violence cast a shadow over a ceremony of mourning in which Germany's President Richard von Weizsacker had urged Germans to reach out to foreigners, offer them protection and a full part in German society. 'The entire country mourns,' he said. 'We are painfully aware of the peril to our civilisation, every time that immoral xenophobia surfaces.'
'The murders at Molln and Solingen are not disconnected, isolated incidents,' Mr von Weizsacker said, referring to the two attacks that have claimed eight Turkish lives in six months. 'They are the result of a climate generated by the extreme right. Even lone killers do not emerge from just nowhere.'
Flanking Mr von Weizsacker were three representatives from the Turkish government, including the Minister for Human Rights, Mehmet Kahraman, who appealed to Bonn to take 'the necessary measures' against violent neo-Nazis.
In Solingen, more than 3,000 took part in a rally after Islamic prayers were held outside the Turks' house, gutted by the arson attack.
Overnight, hundreds of Turkish and German youths erected barricades in central Hamburg and hurled stones at police, who used batons and water cannon to quell the demonstration, making 48 arrests. Twenty-nine police were injured, three of them seriously, a spokesman said.
Flags across Germany were lowered to half-mast, and about 100,000 people, according to trade union estimates, took part in work stoppages and rallies as a sign of respect.
In a move likely to create a rift with Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his own party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Mr von Weizsacker - whose role is mainly honorary and outside the political fray - sided with those demanding that long-term Turkish residents be granted dual nationality or at least a right to vote. It would be 'more honourable and more humane', the President said, if Germans thought of Turks - who currently are so-called guest-workers - as 'German citizens of Turkish origin'.
Mr Kohl, who came under fire for refusing to attend the ceremonies, meanwhile announced he would set up a 'round table' to discuss the bloodshed at Molln and Solingen. He will meet representatives from churches, trade unions, federal and state governments, family organisations and the media to 'work out a means of dealing with what caused the attacks', his spokesman said.
The five Turks are to be buried in their home village of Mercimek, north-east of Ankara, today. Two chartered planes left Cologne military airport yesterday with the bodies.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 5 Cancel Sky at your peril: man spends 96 minutes in chat but fails to get rid of service
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning independent ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading manufacturer of fl...
£12000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Field Sales Operative is requ...