Violence erupts after mourning: Germany's President urges rights for Turks - Victims of tyranny caught in continent's rules

COLOGNE - Angry Turkish demonstrations erupted into violence in two German cities yesterday, only hours after a memorial service for five Turks killed last Saturday. In Cologne, 22 young Turks were arrested after gangs smashed dozens of windows, pillaged several shops and attacked a bus and two police vans. In Hamburg, a dozen youths smashed the windows of a Turkish bank and Turkish travel agency, police said.

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
The Aviva Premiership trophy
rugby union All the latest from Twickenham
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood
footballDanny Higginbotham: Tim Sherwood must play game of two halves to cause major upset
News
Caber is trained to help child victims of serious crimes testify
news
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor