FPÖ holds celebration of victory over Ottoman Empire
The Local · 12 Sep 2016, 09:51
Published: 12 Sep 2016 09:51 GMT+02:00
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The event was organised to stress the need to defend the "Western world" from invaders.
On a controversial poster, they wrote: "Abendland Beschutzen Damals Wie Heute (To protect the Western World - in the past as well as today)."
The event is taking place on 12th September at Vienna's Palais Ferstl to mark the defeat in September 1683 of 100,000 soldiers from the Ottoman Empire.
The soldiers had already started to take the Austrian capital Vienna which was defended by only 10,000 Habsburg soldiers when Polish horsemen attacked them from the rear and devastated the Turkish army – which was forced to retreat.
It marked the end of the Turks' attempts to expand westwards with a defeat from which the army never recovered.
The commemoration comes at a delicate time for Austria as the country already finds itself in the middle of a diplomatic row with Turkey.
The commemoration party includes an opening speech by Vienna’s Vice-Mayor Johann Gudenus and speeches by Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache, as well as historian and university professor Dr Lothar Hobelt.
After the failed coup attempt in Turkey, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz warned he will stop any move that brings Turkey closer to joining the European Union.
Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern even went so far as to say: "the membership negotiations are currently no more than fiction."
As a result Turkey recalled its ambassador to Austria and accused the country of being supportive of terrorism and a centre of Islamophobia. The two countries' relations have sharply deteriorated since those events.
On social media the commemorations by the far-right Freedom Party are being hotly debated, although some netizens seem to be taking it on a much lighter note.
One netizen wrote: "To celebrate, all Poles, Italians and Germans will be awarded citizenship in Austria."
While another said: "Although that might not happen, at least the Polish citizens deserve a free beer," referring to Polish King John III Sobieski who commanded the Christian army which defended Vienna in 1683.
The Battle of Vienna took place on 11th-12th September 1683 when the imperial city was besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire against the invading Muslim Ottoman Empire.
The battle is often seen as a turning point in history, which slowly led to the decline of the Ottoman Empire.
Story courtesy of Central European News.