Turkish Election Victory and Controversial Celebrations in Austria: What Comes Next?

2023-05-29 20:48:25

According to provisional figures from the state news agency Anadolu Ajansi, almost 74 percent of all Turks in Austria entitled to vote voted for Erdogan. The old and new President did particularly well in Austria in an international comparison.

The result for the incumbent was again better than at home in other European countries with large Turkish communities, above all in Germany, where according to preliminary results around 67.4 percent voted for Erdogan, France (66.6 percent), the Netherlands ( 70.4) and Belgium (74.9). On the other hand, in countries like the UK, Sweden and Switzerland, Kemal Kilicdaroglu was ahead.

Reumannplatz as the center of celebrations in Vienna

Numerous fans of the Turkish President then celebrated the election victory in Vienna late on Sunday evening, with the focus being on Reumannplatz in Vienna-Favoriten. Videos on social networks showed how revelers loudly waved Turkish flags and Erdogan pictures.

According to a spokesman for the Vienna police, there were motorcades at the spontaneous and unannounced rallies from 8.30 p.m. around Reumannplatz, which caused considerable traffic disruption. The situation calmed down again around 11:30 p.m. due to the intervention of the officials and corresponding reports.

According to a police spokesman, potentially endangered objects such as the Ernst Kirchweger House – which has been the target of Turkish hooligans in the past – and embassies have also been protected and the many hundreds of revelers prevented from moving any further. According to the police, there were also ads according to the “symbol law”, since – as at previous events – the forbidden wolf salute was shown by individual cheering Erdogan fans.

Interior Minister announces investigations

Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) thanked his officials for their “cautious action” and announced investigations by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in connection with the wolf salute: “The democratic constitutional state and its laws must be respected by all people who live in our country,” explained Karner in a statement. “This is the basis for peaceful coexistence. However, the glorification of an extremist ideology by showing the wolf salute clearly contradicts our laws and is consistently pursued.”

Integration Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP) said: “Imported political activism and violence must be condemned in the strongest terms and punished with the full severity of the law. Nationalism imported from abroad is the opposite of integration and has no place with us.”

After the Turkey election

The opposition criticizes the elections in Turkey. It was not fair and did not run according to international standards.

FPÖ criticizes the city of Vienna and the Ministry of the Interior

The Viennese FPÖ took the rallies as an opportunity to locate a “caliphate” for which the SPÖ and Mayor Michael Ludwig had made favorites, to call on the Minister of the Interior to resign and to urge the celebrating Erdogan fans to emigrate to Turkey. The Viennese FPÖ boss Dominik Nepp and his favorite district party chairman Stefan Berger spoke in a broadcast of “thousands of fanatical men” and a “serious threat to freedom and democracy”, in the face of which the “incompetent” interior minister and state security “completely failed”.

FPÖ leader Herbert Kickl blew the same word in this regard, for him “the audacity of the fanatics is the result of the weakness of the SPÖ and ÖVP and also the result of decades of neglect on the subject of integration”. ÖVP General Secretary Christian Stocker said in turn that Kickl had failed “all along the line” during his time as Minister of the Interior. After all, he had almost two years to “stop such developments”.

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