• Austria's news in English
Turkey spars with Austria over racism claims
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Foreign Minister of Turkey. Photo: Mohammad Hassanzadeh/Wikimedia

Turkey spars with Austria over racism claims

The Local/AFP · 5 Aug 2016, 22:37

Published: 05 Aug 2016 22:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"Racism is an enemy of human rights and humanitarian values and the Austrian chancellor should first look at his own country," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told TGRT news channel.

"Austria is the capital of radical racism," he said.

Cavusoglu was reacting to comments made by Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern who said Turkey was unfit to join the European Union in the aftermath of the July 15 attempted coup by a rogue faction within the military.

"We have to face reality: the membership negotiations are currently no more than fiction," Kern told the Die Presse newspaper in comments published on Thursday.

Cavusoglu blasted Kern's "ugly" comments.

Turkey has already faced much criticism and delay in its bid to join the EU which could face further issues after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's suggestion last month that he may reintroduce the death penalty following the failed putsch.

Cavusoglu said he rejected all of Kern's criticisms of Turkey, which included the statement that Ankara's democratic standards were "far from sufficient to justify its accession".

Reacting on Twitter soon after Cavusoglu made those comments, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz urged his counterpart to "exercise restraint".

"I urge the foreign minister to exercise restraint and sharply reject his criticism. Turkey needs to moderate its choice of words and actions," he said in German.

Story continues below…

On Thursday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rejected Vienna's call to end talks over Turkish accession, saying it would be a "serious foreign policy mistake".

"I don't think it would be helpful if we were to unilaterally end negotiations with Turkey," Juncker told German public broadcaster ARD.

Turkey's EU membership bid dates back to 1963, with its formal application made in 1987 and negotiations starting in 2005.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local/AFP (news.austria@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available