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World

AFP
March 9, 2018

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German politician quits over ‘race slur’

BERLIN: A regional leader of Germany’s far-right AfD party said on Thursday he would resign after he insulted Germans of Turkish origin, calling them "camel drivers".

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Andre Poggenburg, 42, is the leader of the AfD in the formerly communist eastern region of Saxony-Anhalt as well as chief of the anti-immigration party’s state parliamentary group. He will leave both posts from the end of March because of "pressure from the parliamentary group and party", the Saxony-Anhalt state chapter of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party said in a statement.

Poggenburg made the inflammatory comments in February after a Turkish community organisation had questioned plans in Berlin to create a new "homeland" ministry. He said Germany needed no advice on its culture and history from Turks who he said bore responsibility "for their own genocide", the mass killings of Armenians in the World War I-era.

"Are they crazy?" he told several hundred mostly-male AfD supporters in Nentmannsdorf, a village near Dresden. "These camel drivers should go back to where they belong, far beyond the Bosphorus, to their mud huts and multiple wives." In a leak last year of a WhatsApp group chat of AfD members and supporters, Poggenburg was seen texting: "Germany for the Germans" -- a slogan often used by neo-Nazis.

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