Friday

21st Jul 2017

Turkey recalls ambassador from Austria

  • A pro-Kurdish rally in London, in March 2016. (Photo: Ron F./Flickr)

Turkey has recalled its ambassador from Vienna amid a deepening diplomatic row.

Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday (21 August) he was angered that people were allowed to rally in support of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organisation by the Turkish government and features on the EU's list of terrorist organisations.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“Unfortunately, the ground on which our bilateral relations and cooperation with Austria can be normally sustained has disappeared,” he said. “We cannot be two-faced like them, we are against all kinds of terror.”

He accused Austria of refusing to allow a "peaceful march" in support of Turkish democracy in the wake of the foiled coup.

But he gave no details, and the Austrian police told this website it wasn't aware of any bans on demonstrations.

A pro-Erdogan rally took place in Vienna on 16 July, with roughly 4,000 people reportedly taking part.

Austria’s foreign minister Sebastian Kurz defended the right of demonstrators to protest and display loyalty with their homeland. But he said they should stop short of "importing the political conflict to Austria", after some demonstrators attacked the garden of a Turkish-Kurdish restaurant.

The mayor of Wiener Neustadt, a small town near Vienna, later asked residents to remove Turkish flags from their windows.

Another row erupted when a news ticker at Vienna airport earlier this month carried claims from Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstroem that Turkey had legalised sex with children. The allegations were denied by Turkey and refuted by legal experts.

Worsening relations

Relations between Austria - home to some 300,000 people of Turkish origin - and Turkey went downhill after last month’s coup attempt.

Chancellor Christian Kern angered Ankara when calling accession talks with Turkey a "diplomatic fiction” earlier this month and said the EU needed "an alternative concept".

He also said the Turkish citizens protesting against the coup in Austria were ”radical”.

Cavusoglu replied by calling Austria the “capital of radical racism”.

"During the coup and afterwards, instead of supporting Turkey they have done the exact opposite," Cavusoglu said.

EU not abandoning Turkey

The EU relies on Turkey to stop thousands of asylum seekers and migrants from travelling to Europe, enshrined in a migrant-swap deal signed in March this year.

Despite rising diplomatic tension, EU leaders insist that the deal must continue. But the government's post-coup crackdown has worried critics that Turkey is moving away from democracy and rule of law.

The European Commission’s president Jean-Claude Juncker earlier this month rejected Austria's call for the EU to end membership talks with Turkey, warning it would be a grave mistake.

"I don't think it would be helpful if we were to unilaterally end negotiations with Turkey," he told German public broadcaster ARD, adding that such a decision can only be made with unanimity from all member states.

Turkey’s ambassador to the EU, Selim Yenel, told this website earlier this month that he hoped EU-Turkey relations would improve when leaders travelled to Turkey and saw the situation with their own eyes.

The European Parliament’s Elmar Brok, chair of the foreign affairs committee (Afet) and Kati Piri, the parliament’s rapporteur for Turkey, started an official visit on Tuesday.

Germany’s European affairs minister Michael Roth will pay a visit to Turkey later this week.

Turkey struggling to cope with refugees

Children out of school and vulnerable to radicalisation, asylum claimants pushed back from Greece, and refugees forbidden from entering from Syria - a new report paints a bleak picture of the situation in Turkey.

Opinion

EU-Turkey relations after the coup

Turkish democracy is deteriorating and drifting towards authoritarianism, as the government uses the failed coup as an excuse to purge opposition ranks.

Death penalty not on Turkey's agenda, says MP

A Turkish MP plays down the possibility of capital punishment being reintroduced, despite hints by president Erdogan that he would push for it following last month's failed coup.

Turkey threatens to scrap migrant deal with EU, again

Ankara has once again threatened to back away from a migrant deal with the EU unless visa waivers for Turks are lifted. Over 1,000 have crossed from Turkey to the Greek islands since the military coup attempt on 15 July.

Poland 'leaving EU community of values'

Leading MEPs and legal watchdogs have raised the alarm on Polish judicial reforms, but the European Commission declined to speak out so far.

Cyprus talks up in the air

A week after the failure of negotiations to reunite the islands, Greek Cypriots are calling on Turkish Cypriots to reaffirm their commitment to the process.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  2. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  3. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  4. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  5. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  6. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  7. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary
  8. Commission: clean up diesel cars, or EU agency inevitable