The populist anti-mass migration Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) has stirred up controversy by celebrating the 333 year anniversary of the end of the Turkish siege of Vienna.
The second siege of Vienna is one of the defining pieces of Austrian history as it was the final time the Islamic world would try and conquer Europe through military means. Everything from the croissant to coffee came to Europe as a result of one of the most famous battles in European history.
The populist FPÖ are now stirring controversy for celebrating the 333rd anniversary of the siege as critics accuse them of further inflaming a tense relationship between Austria and Turkey, reports Kronen Zeitung.
The FPÖ announced that they will be holding an event named, “Protect the West. Then As Now” on the 12th of September to commemorate the lifting of the second siege of Vienna at the luxurious Palais Ferstel.
The permit for the event states that it was created to educate all political parties on the historical event and of possible parallels today, but Vienna city councillor for the liberal New Austria party, Beate Meinl-Reisinger, is calling the event “FPÖ propaganda”.
Ms. Meinl-Reisinger believes that the event would attempt to insinuate a parallel between the historic siege with the current migrant crisis. She said that attempting to make such an association would be “racist” and that the city government should not fund the event.
The FPÖ, on the other hand, state that the event is purely educational. Vienna chief Dominik Nepp said the event will show not only the historical reasons for the siege but will also look at the science behind it.
Critics have said that the event may be a further provocation to the Turkish government following tensions between Vienna and Ankara which stem from the aftermath of the failed coup against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in July.
Several prominent politicians including FPÖ presidential candidate Norbert Hofer (pictured above) and Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz slammed the demonstrations of pro-Erdoğan supporters in the wake of the coup questioning their loyalty to Austria.
A Turkish constitutional court ruling that it was legal for children as young as twelve to consent to sex with adults also inflamed a row between the two countries. Ankara blamed Kronen Zeitung, Austria’s largest newspaper, for taking the ruling out of context, while Austrian politicians demanded real answers from Turkey on the ruling.