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German nationalist censured by own party over Turkish slurs

February 16, 2018

In this Feb. 14, 2018 photo Andre Poggenburg, head of the nationalist AfD in German state of Saxony-Anhalt, speaks during a party rally in Nentmannsdorf near Pirna, eastern Germany, where he insulted Turks as “camel drivers” and defamed immigrants with dual passports as “homeless mob that we no longer want to have here." (Sebastian Kahnert/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — The nationalist Alternative for Germany party has rebuked one of its leading figures for describing Turks as “camel drivers” and making other anti-migrants slurs.

In a statement, the party’s leadership said it decided unanimously Friday to issue a formal warning to Andre Poggenburg, who heads the party’s chapter in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Poggenburg’s comments during a party rally Wednesday were widely criticized by German officials and members of the Turkish community.

Prosecutors in Dresden, close to where the speech was held, have opened a preliminary investigation against Poggenburg on suspicion of incitement.

The party, known by its acronym AfD, has used provocative statements about migrants, especially Muslims, to stir controversy and ensure a constant media presence.

Founded in 2013, AfD came third in last year’s national elections.

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