Crisis between Ankara and Vienna

Turkey recalled its ambassador to Austria on Tuesday. The conflict between the two countries flared up over a pro-Kurdish demonstration in Vienna which was authorised by the local authorities. The Turkish government is overreacting, some commentators write. Others believe Vienna and Ankara are fighting a proxy war.

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Die Presse (AT) /

Neurotic reactions from Ankara

Ankara has overshot the mark with its diplomatic threats made after a pro-PKK demonstration in Vienna, Die Presse comments:

“Recalling the Turkish ambassador for consultations just because of this is going too far. But when Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu declares that 'any reasons we had for maintaining relations with Austria' are now 'obsolete', things are getting neurotic. ... Does he really want to sever diplomatic ties with Austria simply because of a mini-demonstration? The Austrian government, which likewise has hardly missed an opportunity to score points at home with its Turkey bashing, is right not to take such statements very seriously. Çavuşoğlu will calm down eventually. Nevertheless such overreactions are anything but professional. Particularly in times of unrest such as these, Turkey would do well to hone its diplomatic skills - and get its priorities right. It has other problems than Austria.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Vienna says what everyone is thinking

Turkey and Austria are waging a proxy war, Der Standard writes on the friction between the two states:

“The small, seemingly inconsequential EU member state Austria is being taught a lesson that Ankara doesn't dare teach the bigger nations, Germany, France and Italy. … In recent weeks Vienna has led a political debate about Turkey that other members of the EU prefer to avoid right now. Christian Kern, the chancellor, is probably not the only government politician in the Union who believes that Turkey's EU accession process, which has gone on for 12 years now, is an illusion. Sebastian Kurz, the foreign minister, is probably not the only chief diplomat in the EU who sees Ankara's style as presumptuous, and the gap between Turkish-style democracy and EU standards as enormous.”