A tirade against Turks in Germany by a recently appointed central bank board member provoked widespread anger

The governor of the German Central Bank, Axel Weber, has been attempting a damage limitation exercise after remarks by Thilo Sarrazin about the country’s 2.5 million-strong Turkish minority provoked popular anger.

Last week Mr. Sarrazin, who was recently appointed to the central bank’s board, told cultural magazine Lettre International that Turks, who are three per cent of the country’s population, contributed little to the German economy and were a threat due to their high birth rate.

“Turks are conquering Germany…with a strong birth rate,” Sarrazin was quoted as saying. “I would be happy if it were a question of eastern European Jews whose intelligence is 15 per cent greater than the German population. I do not want groups within the population that do not accept the duty of integration, and on top of that it costs a lot more money.”

Speaking of the German capital, Berlin, Sarrazin added: “A large number of Arabs and Turks in this city, the number of whom has grown owing to poor policies, have no productive function aside from selling fruit and vegetables. Figures provided by the Turkish-German Chamber of Commerce indicated that the number of companies founded in Germany by Turkish citizens or Germans with a Turkish background has risen to 65,000, employing around 320,000, over the past two decades.