Turkey condemns Austria's 'racist' move to close mosques
Turkey Turkey condemns Austria's 'racist' move to close mosques
Presidentâs spokesman attacks plan to shut seven mosques and expel up to 60 imams
Turkeyâs presidential spokesman has lambasted Austriaâs decision to expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and shut seven mosques as an âanti-Islamâ and âracistâ move.
âAustriaâs 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,â Ä°brahim KalÄ±n said after Vienna announced the move in a crackdown on âpolitical Islamâ.
âIt is an attempt to target Muslim communities for the sake of scoring cheap political points,â KalÄ±n tweeted.
Austriaâs interior minister, Herbert Kickl, said 150 people, including the imams and their families, risked losing their right to residence.Can Europeâs new xenophobes reshape the continent? Read more
The moves come after Austriaâs 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.
âParallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation have no place in our country,â the chancellor, Sebastian Kurz of the ruling centre-right Peopleâs party, said.
KalÄ±n, spokesman for Recep Tayyip Er doÄan, suggested the decision was part of efforts to ânormalise Islamophobia and racismâ, which he said must be rejected.
âThe Austrian governmentâs ideologically charged practices are in violation of universal legal principles, social integration policies, minority rights and the ethics of co-existence,â KalÄ±n said.'It's been looming over us for decades': Austrian voters on the far-right Read more
During the Turkish referendum campaign last year on expanding the presidentâs powers, tensions were high between Vienna and Ankara after Austria said it would not allow campaign-related events.
Relations were also strained by Kurzâs staunch opposition to Turkeyâs bid to join the EU and the governmentâs programme that pledged Vienna would not agree to Turkey joining the bloc.Topics
- Race issues
- Relig ion
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