Turkey’s EU minister warns Austria over rise of far right

Turkey’s EU minister warns Austria over rise of far right

Turkey’s EU minister warns Austria over rise of far right

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Turkey’s European Union Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik has lashed out at Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern for promoting “extreme right wing and racist” sentiment by making anti-Turkish statements. 

Çelik took to Twitter to say extreme rightists’ coming into power in key EU countries would lead to major problems. 

“Austrian Chancellor Kern says that the far-right coming to power in key countries of the EU is a big problem. But the Austrian chancellor and foreign minister’s own discourse on Turkey is worse than far-right politicians,” tweeted Çelik on Nov. 20. 

He stated that those “who resort to further-right discourse to counterbalance far-right parties” lose in elections. “And those who use similar discourse on Turkey to compete with far-right parties have either lost elections across Europe or became weaker,” he added.    

“The anti-Turkish rhetoric of the Austrian chancellor and foreign minister on all EU platforms also weakens them. Those who produce only anti-Turkish and Islamophobic politics in order to compete with the far-right only strengthen the far-right and racism,” Çelik tweeted.  

Turkey and Austria has been at odds since the latter recently called on the EU to halt membership bid of the former in the aftermath of the Turkish government’s crackdown on the alleged plotters of the July 15 failed coup attempt. Turkey accuses the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen and his supporters of orchestrating the coup attempt. 

On Nov. 14, EU foreign ministers criticized Turkey’s crackdown on alleged supporters of a failed military coup, but Austria’s call to suspend Ankara’s EU membership bid failed to garner enough backing.