Turkey's presidential spokesman on Friday slammed the Austrian authorities after Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced the expulsion of "several" foreign-funded imams and the closure of mosques in a bid to tackle "political Islam."
"Austria's decision to close down seven mosques and deport imams with a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country," Ibrahim Kalin tweeted.
1/Avusturya’nın sudan bahanelerle yedi camiyi kapatması ve imamları sınır dışı etmesi, bu ülkedeki İslam karşıtı ırkçı ve ayrımcı popülist dalganın sonuçlarından biridir. Amaç, Müslüman toplulukları ötekileştirerek siyasi kazanım elde etmektir.— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) 8 июня 2018 г.
He went on to blame Vienna for "ideologically charged practices" that violate human rights, adding that the "efforts to normalize Islamophobia and racism must be rejected under all circumstances."
2/ Avusturya hükümetinin ideolojik tutumu evrensel hukuk normlarına, toplumsal uyum politikalarına, azınlık hukukuna ve bir arada yaşama ahlakına aykırıdır.— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) 8 июня 2018 г.
İslam karşıtlığının ve ırkçılığın bu şekilde normalleştirilmesi ve sıradanlaştırılması kesin olarak reddedilmelidir.
Kurz's announcement was made after an inquiry into photos that were made in an Austrian mosque. The photos depicted boys wearing military uniforms, marching, saluting and carrying Turkish flags in a reenactment of the 1915-16 battle of Gallipoli, which saw the defeat of the allied forces by the Turks during World War I.
Moreover, the chancellor has opposed Turkey's accession to the EU, citing "systematic violations of human rights and essential democratic values" by Ankara.
Currently, about 100,000 Turkish citizens live in Austria.
The relations between Austria and Turkey became strained after Vienna hampered Ankara's EU and NATO integration aims.
Subsequently, Ankara slammed Vienna for including the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), known for its anti-immigration position, in its ruling coalition.