The Prime Minister of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Fust said that Turkey is a rich country in terms of different ethnicities and cultures, and that the millions of Turks living in the state constitute a great wealth for it and contribute to the country’s economic renaissance.
Hendrik Fust assumed the position of prime minister of the state on October 27, 2021, after his predecessor Armin Laschet resigned from his candidacy in the federal parliamentary elections for the Christian Democratic Union party, and Fust will be a candidate for the same party in the state elections that will be held on May 15.
In an interview, Fust talked about the conditions of Turkish citizens in the state, the most prominent electoral promises to them, and the importance of the role of immigrants in the state and in all of Germany.
Fust stressed that he attaches great importance to digital transformation in education, which he sees as the key to progress for societies, indicating that they have employed 10,000 teachers and plan to hire an additional 10,000.
He added that he believes that teaching Turkish in schools as a mother tongue or as an optional foreign language would be an important and right step to take advantage of the state’s multilingual capabilities.
He pointed out that he had met a large number of Turks throughout his career from different regions of Turkey and believed that they constituted a great wealth.
He continued, “Millions of Turks live in our state, and we are proud that millions from all parts of the world come to work, learn and live with us.”
The importance of immigration to North Rhine-Westphalia
Fust explained that Germany is an immigration and integration country, and that a third of the population in North Rhine-Westphalia is of immigrant origin.
He stated that this diversity is an important opportunity for society from an economic and social point of view, and that immigrants make significant contributions to the German economic renaissance.
He added: “In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, there are 175,000 self-employed people of immigrant background, and a quarter of entrepreneurs come from immigrant families, and these people provide thousands of job opportunities.”
Fust stressed that he believes that immigration is of great economic, cultural and demographic importance to his state and that he will focus on this in his electoral platform.
On the attacks targeting Muslims and Turks in Germany, Fust stressed that the state government condemns all forms of discrimination, racism and aggression and takes serious and firm steps against them, stressing that there is no place for racism and hatred in North Rhine-Westphalia.
He added: “The recent attacks on mosques and Muslim cemeteries are racist events that create an atmosphere of fear and destroy coexistence.”
He pointed out that they combat discrimination in the labor market against persons of immigrant origin.
Regarding allowing the Friday prayer call to prayer from loudspeakers within the framework of a project launched by the German municipality of Cologne, Fust said that raising the call to prayer from loudspeakers can contribute to achieving harmonization and harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims in the city.
He added that the history of the migration of people of different religions to North Rhine-Westphalia goes back many years, stressing that the German economic miracle would not have been achieved without the immigrants.
He pointed out that he and the Christian Democratic Union party to which he belongs attach great importance to religious freedoms and the freedom of immigrants to practice their religions.