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Turkish President Says Germany Must Help Turks Integrate

Turkish President Abdullah Gul (right) and his German counterpart Christian Wulff talk on a balcony of the Cankaya Presidential Palace in Ankara.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has urged politicians in Germany not to exploit the issue of immigration for political gain, and said they should instead help Turks better integrate.

Gul was speaking at a joint news conference with German President Christian Wulff, who is on a five-day visit to Turkey.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said over the weekend her country's attempts to build a multicultural society had "utterly failed."

Gul said Turks living in Germany should learn to speak German, but added that both Germany and Turkey had failed to provide sufficient guidance to Turkish immigrants.

Germany is home to an estimated 5 million Muslims, including some 3 million Turks.

Wulff in turn said that immigrants had to learn German from a "very early age" and integrate into German society.

Many Turks went to Germany as "guest workers" in the 1960s to provide manpower for Germany industry, and speak little or no German.

compiled from agency reports