Turkey condemns Austria's 'racist' move to close mosques

By On June 08, 2018

Turkey condemns Austria's 'racist' move to close mosques

Turkey Turkey condemns Austria's 'racist' move to close mosques

President’s spokesman attacks plan to shut seven mosques and expel up to 60 imams

İbrahim Kalın, Turkey's presidential spokesman
İbrahim Kalın has accused Austria of targeting Muslims ‘for the sake of scoring cheap political points’. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty

Turkey’s presidential spokesman has lambasted Austria’s decision to expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and shut seven mosques as an “anti-Islam” and “racist” move.

“Austria’s decision to close down seven mosques and deport imams wi th a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country,” İbrahim Kalın said after Vienna announced the move in a crackdown on “political Islam”.

“It is an attempt to target Muslim communities for the sake of scoring cheap political points,” Kalın tweeted.

Austria’s interior minister, Herbert Kickl, said 150 people, including the imams and their families, risked losing their right to residence.

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The moves come after Austria’s religious affairs authority investigated images published in April of children in a Turkish-backed mosque playing dead and re-enacting the first world war battle of Gallipoli.

“Parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation have no place in our country,” the chancellor, Sebastian Kurz of the ruling centre-right People’s party, said.

Kalın, spokesman for Recep Tayyip Er doğan, suggested the decision was part of efforts to “normalise Islamophobia and racism”, which he said must be rejected.

“The Austrian government’s ideologically charged practices are in violation of universal legal principles, social integration policies, minority rights and the ethics of co-existence,” Kalın said.

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During the Turkish referendum campaign last year on expanding the president’s powers, tensions were high between Vienna and Ankara after Austria said it would not allow campaign-related events.

Relations were also strained by Kurz’s staunch opposition to Turkey’s bid to join the EU and the government’s programme that pledged Vienna would not agree to Turkey joining the bloc.

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Source: Google News Turkey | Netizen 24 Turkey

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