Chancellor Kurz complains that Turkey is trying to sow discord in Austria

After the riots in Vienna district of Favoriten during demonstrations, the atmosphere between Austria and Turkey remains anything but relaxed. While Vienna and Ankara had summoned the ambassador of the respective other country to the Foreign Ministry, Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ( Austrian People’s Party, ÖVP) now found sharp words directed at the Bosporus. On Tuesday, Kurz accused Turkey of “sowing discord” and of ” stirring things up” in Austria for its own interests. From the Chancellor’s point of view this is an ” misuse of the people with Turkish roots living in Europe”. Furthermore, Kurz once again identified shortcomings in integration policy and announced his intention to prevent “uncontrolled immigration” in future.The Turkish ambassador had had to report to the Vienna Foreign Ministry on Monday. The ambassador had been summoned to make it clear “that Turkey must stop trying to influence the people here in Austria and instrumentalising them for their own interests”, Kurz explained to journalists on Tuesday. Kurz finds it “unbearable” that Turkey talks about police violence against Austro-Turks, he could only “reject this in the strongest terms”.Kurz does not expect deescalating statements from Turkey: “I do not expect a great deal of support from Turkey,” he said in response to a question. “Because I know exactly what Turkey is trying to do here: Namely, using Turks in Europe to sow discord and here and there to create a mood mainly for Turkey’s own interests. In his view this is an “abuse of people with Turkish roots living in Europe”.Kurz emphasized that he was outraged by what had happened here in the middle of Vienna.”People who live in the Favoriten district are being deprived of their homeland”, the Chancellor used drastic words. “These conflicts, they are imported from Turkey,” criticised Kurz. “Those who have a need for street fighting should do it in Turkey, but there is no place for it in Austria.”He had asked the Minister of the Interior to pursue a “policy of zero tolerance”, Kurz said. There were 11 arrests, including one suspected ringleader. Now it was time to check “which contacts and strands of contacts exist here with Turkey and with various Turkish associations in Austria – and these relations must be broken off”.In short, the incidents were the result of not only a lack of integration, but also of unrestricted immigration. In this respect, he also sees his strategy in migration policy vindicated.

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