Angela Merkel has infuriated members within her own government after questioning the loyalty of Turks living in Germany.
In a speech earlier this week, the German Chancellor said: “We expect people with Turkish origins living in Germany for a long time to develop loyalty towards our country to a high degree.”
Volker Beck, the German Green Party spokesman for migration, condemned Merkel over her rally cry.
He said: “Questioning the loyalty of your own citizens without any particular reason is a practice that we generally see only in authoritarian regimes.”
She added: “We should not make the sweeping assumption that they have conflicts of loyalties.”
Head of Germany’s Green parliamentary group Katrin Göring-Eckardt said Merkel’s comments were “unnecessarily placing an entire group under suspicion”.
Mustafa Yenero?lu, chairman of Turkish parliament’s human rights committee, said her comments were a “grist to the mill of populists”.
He added: “The assumption behind it is unfounded and counterproductive. It alienates.”