Alexander Gauland, the top candidate for the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), made the remarks during a rally in eastern German state of Thuringia over the weekend.
Criticizing Integration minister Aydan Ozoguz (left) for what he considered to be liberal remarks on German culture, Gauland told his supporters that they should invite her to Eichsfeld in Thuringia, and show her what real German culture consists of.
“Then she would never come here again, and thank God, we would then also be able to dispose of her in Anatolia,” he said, referring to the Turkish roots of the Social Democrat politician, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.
Ozoguz, who was born and grew up in Hamburg, became the federal integration minister in 2013.
Gauland’s remarks have sparked an uproar in Germany on Monday, with leading politicians condemning his controversial comments.
Peter Tauber, secretary general of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), slammed the far-right leader.
“Gauland wants to dispose of a German with Turkish roots, a member of the federal government. This is racism,” he tweeted.
‘Gauland speaks like a Nazi’
Social Democrat Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz called on voters to punish the AfD in the upcoming elections on Sept. 24.
“We must do everything to prevent such racists entering the German parliament,” he said.
SPD’s parliamentary group leader Thomas Oppermann compared AfD’s top candidate to a Nazi.
“Gauland speaks like a Nazi. AfD is a disgrace for Germany,” he tweeted.
The AfD has adopted an explicit anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic rhetoric ahead of the general election.
Gauland recently told public broadcaster DW that “Islam as a cultural, religious entity has no place in Germany”.
The AfD is currently polling at around 8 percent in German opinion polls. Parties need to pass a 5 percent threshold of the vote to enter the Bundestag, or German parliament.
Germany, a country of 81.8 million people, has the second largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France.
Among the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million are of Turkish origin. Many of them migrated to Germany in the 1960s.
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