Car manufacturer BMW has banned workers from speaking Turkish because German colleagues believe they are making fun of them behind their backs.
The measure has been introduced by a BMW plant near Munich, the capital of the southern German state of Bavaria.
According to local media, there are around 7,000 workers from 50 different countries working at the BMW plant and a large number of them are Turkish nationals or Germans with a Turkish background.
While at the Vehicle Preparation Centre in the town of Garching, a foreman gathered 20 German-Turkish workers out of the 100 employees on that shift and reportedly told them not to speak Turkish to each other.
Local media said that the language ban was not only enforced in work hours, but also during breaks.
Anonymous sources at the BMW factory told reporters that numerous German colleagues felt uncomfortable about some of the Turkish chitchat, suspecting them of making nasty comments behind their backs.
However, the German-Turkish employees were outraged by the ban and have reportedly filed a discrimination complaint to BMW bosses.
BMW spokesman Jochen Frey confirmed that a complaint was received and is currently being investigated by the company’s HR department.
Frey said: “The company does not dictate to employees what language they should speak.
“However, instructions should be understandable for all workers, so they should perhaps take place in German.”