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Austria bars Turkish minister from failed coup anniversary rally

Vienna said economy minister Nihat Zeybekci's visit would represent a "danger for public order and security".

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Austria bars Turkish minister from failed coup anniversary rally

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Austria has banned Turkish economy minister Nihat Zeybekci from attending an event to mark the anniversary of a failed coup.

Vienna said his visit would represent a “danger for public order and security”.

Austria has been one of the EU’s most vocal critics of Turkey’s security crackdown since the failed coup last July in which 240 people were killed and has repeatedly called for Turkey’s EU accession talks to be stopped.



Last week, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes was told that he wasn’t welcome in the Netherlands for an event among Turkish expatriates there to commemorate the anniversary.

A group of rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, helicopters and warplanes on the night of July 15, 2016, attacking Turkey’s parliament and seizing control of roads and bridges in an effort to overthrow the government.

The putsch failed when thousands of Turks took to the streets in protest, answering a call from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resist the coup.

Over the past year, Turkey has jailed more than 50,000 people pending trial and suspended or dismissed some 150,000, including soldiers, teachers and civil servants, over alleged links with the exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who is blamed by Ankara for the coup.

On Monday,Turkey issued arrest warrants for 72 university staff, state media said. Dozens have already reportedly been detained.

The warrants were issued under an investigation into the Gulen movement, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Monday’s decision from Austria also echoes a dispute in March between Turkey and several countries with large Turkish populations, including the Netherlands and Austria, which blocked pro-Erdogan rallies in the run-up to an April 16 referendum that granted him sweeping new powers.

Bans on Turkish ministers led Ankara to compare countries concerned to the Nazis.



with Reuters