Austrian PM Says Turkey Has No Place in European Union

Turkey has no place in the European Union, Austria’s newly elected Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz said, renewing his long-standing opposition to Ankara’s accession to the EU, citing the violation of human rights and breakdown of democracy.

“In this country, we see serious violation of human rights, fundamental rights and freedoms,” Mr. Kurz said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

“I will not accept that the EU is watching and pretending that nothing is happening,” he added.

Tapping into a swelling spirit of nationalism and anti-immigrant tide, the former foreign minister brought his conservative People’s Party (OeVP) to power. He forged a coalition government with the far-right Austria of the Freedom Party (FPOe). The news sent shockwaves across EU capitals, causing ripples of concern in Brussels.

It also triggered a reaction from Ankara after the new government’s anti-Turkey statements. The Turkish authorities accused the new Austrian government of “discrimination and racism.”

“From my point of view, Turkey, especially in the light of the policies of recent years, does not have a place in the EU,” the foreign minister said, according to Sputnik International. “It would be fair to stop negotiations on its occasion.”

He also lamented Ankara’s overreach to the Turkish communities in Austria, Germany and other European countries. That, he argued, prevents the integration of Turkish people into the hosting countries.

 

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