Erdoğan vows retaliation against Austria for shutting down mosques

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday, blasted Austria’s recent decision to shut down seven mosques and expel 40 imams as part of a crackdown on “political Islam,’’ and warned of retaliation, independent news site Diken reported.

"I am afraid that the steps taken by the Austrian prime minister would bring the world closer to a crusader-crescent war," the Turkish president said during a fast-breaking dinner in Istanbul.

The Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz on Friday said that the investigation on several mosques and associations conducted by the Ministry of Interior and Office of Religious Affairs reveal that seven mosques, including one belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB), revealed that the houses of worship were operating illegally.

Kunz also announced that they would be deported foreign-funded imams.

‘’Will we watch idly as you do this? They say that our clerics there will be deported from Austria. If you do this, do you think we’ll idly stand by? We will be doing something, too,’’ the Turkish president said.

Earlier this year, in another move that caused fury in Ankara, Austria announced a ban on campaigning for Turkish politicians.