Qa-10, 27 February 2017, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Hüseyin Müftüoğlu, In Response To A Question Regarding The Remarks Of Sebastian Kurz, Federal Minister For Europe, Integration And Foreign Affairs Of Austria

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 27.02.2017

The statement by the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz, that the campaigning in Austria of President Erdoğan in the process leading up to the referendum to be held in Turkey on 16 April 2017 is unwelcome , contradicts with the universal principles of democracy to which Austria adheres to. Furthermore, it represents yet another example of his approach based on prejudices and double standards. We can accept neither this irresponsible statement which crosses the line nor the distorted mentality behind it.

Participation of the Turkish citizens that live abroad, in the election processes in Turkey is a requisite for democracy. This process has nothing to do with the internal politics of Austria. Contrary to the claims of Foreign Minister Kurz, what is harmful to the integration efforts is this discriminating and excluding approach aiming to deny the democratic rights of the Turkish citizens. Furthermore, the fact that these statements of pure misjudgments are coming from a Minister who is also responsible for integration matters is equally unfortunate and worrisome.

It is obvious that Minister Kurz, whose racist stance and Islamophobia exceeds even radical parties, is striving again to create an agenda at the expense of our country for his personal political ambitions.

Nevertheless, despite these irresponsible statements, we hope that universal values and common sense will prevail in Austria’s political culture. In this regard, we consider the statement of Chancellor Christian Kern which acknowledges the right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully as a constructive approach.

Mehmet Vakur Erkul Ambassador
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