Up to 100,000 Austrians with dual Turkish citizenship could be stripped of their Austrian passports as courts in the country investigate violations of the country’s dual nationality laws.
The Turks, who have become naturalised Austrian citizens, are accused of resuming citizenship in Turkey in order to vote in Turkish elections by the anti-mass migration Freedom Party (FPÖ).
In Austria, it is illegal for citizens to hold another foreign citizenship with another other nation without express permission — which is rare. A list of 100,000 individuals it is claimed have broken the country’s dual citizen laws and should have their Austrian citizenship revoked has now been circulated, Sveriges Radio reports.
“These people should not, after being Austrian citizens, have taken back Turkish citizenship without permission,” said the director of the Vienna City Administration Department Werner Sedlak, who deals with many cases as so many Turkish origin individuals live in the Austrian capital.
Since coming into government the Interior Ministry, under the leadership of FPÖ member Herbert Kickl, has distributed the 100,000 person list first introduced in 2017 to various local governments to investigate. Sor far, 70 Turkish citizens have been notified of their Austrian citizenship being revoked in line with long-standing Austrian law.
Several of the dual nationals have filed court cases related to the notifications.
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With Vienna alone having 18,000 cases to investigate, the decisions on whether or not to revoke citizenship are not expected to be resolved quickly.
The cases follow several other measures directed toward the Turkish diaspora in Austria who overwhelmingly voted for Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this year and have been at the centre of a debate on assimilation.
Following the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016, Turks took to the streets of Vienna causing then-Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz to proclaim that Turkish-background Austrians should be loyal to Austria or go home to Turkey.
A similar statement was made earlier this year by Vice Chancellor and leader of the FPÖ Heinz-Christian Strache following the Turkish national elections. Strache wrote a post on Facebook saying, “I recommend all the Turks in Austria who voted for Erdoğan should return to Turkey!”
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com