Austria to bar Turkish politicians from campaigning on its soil

Austria’s right-wing coalition government will bar Turkish politicians from campaigning on its territory, ahead of June elections in Turkey. The government in Vienna is strongly opposed to European Union membership for Turkey, which may switch to a powerful new executive presidency system, narrowly approved in a referendum last year. Ahead of that referendum, Turkish ministers sought to drum up support in countries with large Turkish communities. Several hundred thousand people in Austria are Turkish or of Turkish origin. “Erdogan’s Turkish leadership has been trying to exploit Europe’s communities of Turkish origin for many years,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told ORF radio, in remarks broadcast on Friday. “Turkish election campaign appearances in Austria are unwanted and we will therefore no longer allow them.”