After mass pro-Erdoğan protests by Turks in the Austrian capital of Vienna, presidential candidate Norbert Hofer has called on a crack down of Turks who have illegal dual citizenship in Austria.
In the immediate aftermath of the failed coup in Turkey last weekend Austrian Turks took to the streets of Vienna to express their support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by the thousands. The protests have led to many in the Austrian political scene to question how appropriate it is for the minority in the country to be so adamantly loyal to a foreign head of state.
Presidential candidate for the anti-mass migration Freedom Party (FPÖ) Norbert Hofer is now calling for a government review of Turks who may possess dual citizenship with Austria and Turkey, Kurier reports. Austria is unusual among European nations in that it is illegal, in most cases, to hold a dual citizenship with another nation.
Mr. Hofer told Austrian press that he believes there are a large number of people who possess both Turkish and Austrian citizenship and passports. He has also called for the exposure of any Turks in Austria who are directly cooperating with the Erdoğan government. On Thursday the Erdoğan regime suspended the European Convention of Human Rights and has expelled or suspended civil servants and academics, banning the latter from leaving Turkey.
According to Mr. Hofer, Turkey’s announced plans to reinstate the death penalty pushes the state further from European values. “The value system of Turkey does not fit the EU. I don’t want to condemn the value system of Turkey, but it just does not suit us,” he said.
In a press statement the presidential candidate said that Austria can’t accept the fact that Ankara refuses to tell the government how many Austrian citizens share citizenship with Turkey. He claimed that the dual citizenship could form parallel societies within Austria. Mr. Hofer went so far as to say that the dual citizens should renounce their Austrian citizenship.
Currently in Austria there are around 90,000 Turks who are eligible to vote in Turkish elections and the vast majority are fervent supporters of President Erdoğan’s Justice and Development (AKP) party. Of the total 300,000 or so men and women of Turkish decent living in Austria, around 113,000 of them carry a Turkish passport.
Mr. Hofer also mentioned the Grey Wolves, present at the weekend protests, who are notorious for clashing with Kurdish protesters and are accused of being ultra Turkish nationalists. “Their home is therefore not Austria, but Turkey,” he said of the protesters.
The EU-Turkey migrant deal was also brought up by the candidate who said: “I am also for the termination of the refugee agreement with Turkey,” citing the constant threats from Mr. Erdoğan and allies toward the European Union. Mr. Hofer did not mince words calling the actions of Ankara “blackmail”.