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Austria Bars Turkish Minister From Entering the Country for a Rally

  • VOA News

FILE - Turkish Minister of Economic Affairs Nihat Zeybekci speaking inside a hotel in Cologne, Germany.

Austria has barred the Turkish economy minister from entering the country to attend a rally marking the anniversary of the failed coup attempt in Turkey last year

A spokesman for the Austrian Foreign Ministry confirmed in statement Monday the decision of Foreign Minster Sebastian Kurz, saying the event was "very big" and that the public appearance of Turkey's Nihat Zeybekci could "danger public order and security in Austria".

Austria has strongly criticized Turkey's security crackdown that followed the failed coup, and has repeatedly called for suspending Turkey's EU accession talks.

The Austrian decision followed a Netherlands government statement that Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes was not welcome in the country. Turkes had intended to participate in a Friday ceremony organized by Turkish community to commemorate the anniversary of the coup attempt.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also was not allowed to speak to Turks in Germany last week, where he attended the G20 leaders' summit in Hamburg.

More than 50,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service and education have been detained, pending trial, and about 150,000 suspended or dismissed following the July 15 coup attempt, over allegations of connections with the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for the coup.

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