Turkey’s Erdoğan calls on Germany to talk sense into Austrian PM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Germany to restrain Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz over the Vienna government’s decision to shut down seven mosques and expel foreign-funded imams, the Turkish pro-government Hürriyet Daily News reported.

Kurz said last week said that an investigation into several mosques and associations conducted by the Ministry of Interior and Office of Religious Affairs had revealed that seven mosques, including one belonging to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations, were operating illegally. Kurz said the mosques would be shut down and announced 40 foreign-funded imams would also be deported. 

“I am also making this call to the whole West, particularly to Germany: Straighten out your man. Otherwise the situation may get out of hand. We have some steps to be taken in accordance of our arguments. We will not let our 250,000 brothers be oppressed there (in Austria). We will do what is needed,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan previously warned the steps taken by the Austrian government would bring the world closer to a religious war.

“You are young yet and you need experience. Your inexperienced behaviours like these can cost you heavily,” Erdoğan said.

Austria has banned campaigning by Turkish politicians on Austrian soil for June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.