01:37 GMT +319 October 2018
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    A pro-government supporter waves a Turkish flag and one with the picture of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, during a rally on the road leading to Istanbul's iconic Bosporus Bridge, Thursday, July 21, 2016

    Turkish Diplomat Wants Ankara and Vienna to Be Friends Again

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    In an interview with Sputnik, Austria’s Honorary Consul in Izmir Mustafa Ülkü Caner said that relations between Ankara and Vienna had been going down fast since the suppression of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.

    He also complained about a recent statement by Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern who said that Turkey “has no place in the European Union.”

    And, adding insult to injury, the Vienna authorities gave their go-ahead to a rally in support of the Kurdistan Workers Party, outlawed in Turkey as an extremist organization.

    Shortly after, Ankara recalled its ambassador in Vienna and sent back a team of  Austrian archeologists working on the territory of the ancient city of Ephesus, not far from Izmir.

    Mustafa Ülkü Caner spoke about his recent trip to Vienna where he tried to ease tensions between the two countries.

    “The current tensions are bad for both of us. They have seriously undermined the economic and scientific cooperation between our two countries. We should not allow political differences to hamper our cooperation in science and culture,” he said.

    He added that during his meetings with foreign and economic ministry officials in Vienna he advised them to take a closer look at what happened in Turkey on July 15 when “pro-American forces tried to stage a military coup, which is something all democratically-minded people everywhere should condemn.” He also advised them to tone down their rhetoric about Turkey “if they want to restore good relations with my country.”

    “The Turkish parliament came under fire during the coup attempt and I said that Austrian MPs from across the political spectrum should come and see with their own eyes the consequences of that night. I’m a member of the opposition Republican People’s Party, but this doesn’t mean that one could turn a blind eye to such an attempt to overthrow a legitimate government,” Mustafa Ülkü Caner said in conclusion.

    Initially condemning the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, the European Union has since been increasingly critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on the opposition and his massive suppression of those associated with the coup — the judiciary, the military and the police.

    The botched coup attempt by sections of the Turkish military to remove President Erdogan’s government has resulted in the detention of thousands of senior and junior military officers who had been critical of the government. 

    In addition, thousands of educators, judges and prosecutors have been removed from their positions.

    Related:

    Turkey Recalls Ambassador to Austria Over Pro-Kurdish Rally in Vienna
    Austria Chancellor Criticizes Juncker Over Talks on Turkey's Accession to EU
    Tags:
    European Union, botched coup, fence-mending, hohorary consul, tensions, Republican People’s Party (CHP), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Christian Kern, Mustafa Ülkü Caner, Austria, Turkey
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