Turkish PM visits site of deadly fire
Feb 08,2008 00:00 by UPI

LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on an official visit to Germany, visited the house Thursday where nine immigrants died in a fire.

Erdogan called for Turks living in Germany to remain calm, The Times of London reported.

"The pain is great," he told a crowd of 2,000 Turks, including many who had traveled great distances to visit the fire site in Ludwigshafen. "And if it hadn't been for the energetic involvement of the German police and fire services that pain would have been even greater."

The fire last Sunday killed nine members of two immigrant families, including five children. Turkish immigrants were angry when some German officials suggested immediately that the fire was not set by anti-immigrant extremists.

Erdogan, who was accompanied by Maria Boehmer, the German integration minister, urged the 3 million Turks living in Germany to help build ties between the two countries and the Turkish press to avoid provocative stories. He said that when he meets Chancellor Angela Merkel he will call for a thorough investigation of the fire.

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