Turkey calls Austria 'racist'

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By Natalie Huet
Turkey calls Austria 'racist'

The war of words between Austria’s Foreign minister Sebastian Kurz, and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu has escalated – or, rather descended into ugly name-calling.

Today, Austria is the capital of radical racism

Mevlut Cavusoglu Turkish Foreign Minister

After Austria suggested Turkey was heading towards “dictatorship,” and EU membership talks should end as a result, Ankara hit back on Friday (August 5).

Speaking on national television, Cavusoglu said: “The Austrian chancellor should first take a look at his own country. One of the trends that is an enemy of human rights and values is racism, and today, Austria is the capital of radical racism.”

On Twitter, the Austrian foreign minister urged his counterpart to “show restraint,” and called on Turkey to “moderate its choice of words and its course of action at home.”

Amid the tension, fears are mounting in the EU that the deal struck with Turkey to stop illegal migration via its shores could collapse.

Ankara has complained Europe is not living up to its side of the pact, which promised cash, visa-free travel and speedier talks on EU membership.