Austria bars Turkish economy minister from coup anniversary

Austria has barred Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci from entering the country to attend an event marking the anniversary of last year’s failed coup in Turkey, a spokesman for Austria’s foreign ministry said on Monday.

The planned event was “very big” and the visit represented a “danger for public order and security in Austria”, the spokesman added. There was no immediate comment from Turkey.

The decision follows a similar move by the Netherlands, which said on Friday that Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes was not welcome to visit for a ceremony among Turkish expatriates to commemorate the anniversary.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also complained last week that he was not allowed to speak to Turks in Germany during his visit to the country for a G20 leaders’ summit, telling a newspaper that Germany was “committing suicide”.

“I can confirm that (Austrian) Foreign Minister (Sebastian) Kurz has in fact forbidden the Turkish economy minister from entering the country,” the spokesman for Austria’s foreign ministry said, repeating comments he made earlier to ORF radio.

Failed coup last July in which 240 people were killed. Vienna has repeatedly called for Turkey’s EU accession talks to be stopped.

 

Reuter/Zainab Sa’id