Turkish-German Scholar Resigns Over Holocaust Remark

Faruk Sens, Germany’s leading expert on Turkish life in Europe was forced to resign from the Essen Center for Turkish Studies, after a German newspaper printed a story he wrote in which he compared the plight of contemporary Turks in Germany to what happened to German Jews. His article, “Europe’s New Jews” appeared in the Turkish newspaper, Referans, and made reference to the Holocaust in his discussion of problems confronting Turks living in Germany. “Five million two hundred thousand Turks live in Europe, which once attempted to rid itself of Jews through acts of extreme horror. They(the Turks) have become the new Jews of Europe. Even though our people, who have been living in central and wester Europe for 47 years now, have generated 125,000 businesses… they suffer discrimination and exclusion just as he Jews did– though to a different degree and with different outward appearances.”

Sen afterward admitted his remarks were inappropriate for a German audience. He apologized to senior Jewish representatives who not only accepted the apology but supported him. Stephen Kramer, of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said Sen had always been a supporter of Jews and a fighter against prejudice. Sen said he wrote the article for Turks and had he been writing for Germans he never would have used the same comparison.