Sebastian Kurz Accused Erdogan of Stoking Tensions in Europe After Turkish Clashes with Kurds

Austria's new Chancellor Sebastian Kurz gives a joint press conference with European

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has accused Turkey of sowing strife in Europe after members of the far-right Turkish Grey Wolves clashed with Kurdish leftists and their Antifa allies in Vienna.

Chancellor Kurz summoned the Turkish ambassador to Austria on Monday and told the press “that there must be an end to Turkey trying to influence the people here in Austria and instrumentalising them for their conflicts”.

“I don’t expect a lot of support from Turkey,” he said, Austrian tabloid Kronen Zeitung reports.

“Because I know exactly what Turkey is trying to do here: namely to use Turks in Europe to sow strife and to create moods here and there above all for Turkey’s own interests,” Chancellor Kurz added.

“These conflicts are imported from Turkey,” Kurz said and went on to note: “If you need street fights, you should do it in Turkey, but there is no place for it in Austria.”

The comments come just days after members of the far-right Turkish Grey Wolves, an ultra-nationalist group, clashed with Kurdish supporters of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and the Kurds’ Antifa allies in the heavily migrant-populated Favoriten district of Vienna.

The conflict began last Wednesday when members of the Grey Wolves interrupted a Kurdish women’s association meeting. Clashes between the far-right and far-left extremist groups continued for several days after. Eleven people have so far been arrested in connection with the violence and seven police officers injured.

The PKK, along with its symbols and flags, were banned in Austria in February of last year. While some symbols of the Grey Wolves are now forbidden, as well, the far-right group is not proscribed outright.

Over the weekend, Chancellor Kurz announced a “zero-tolerance” policy saying: “We will not allow conflicts to be carried from Turkey to Austria and to be carried out violently on our streets.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, said that “demonstrations have been held in Vienna by the PKK terrorist organisation and its supporters for a few days”.

Clashes between Grey Wolves and PKK supporters have been seen in Germany in the past, as well. In 2016, the two groups clashed in the city of Duisburg and both Turks and Kurds briefly fought one another in central Vienna in August of that year.


Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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