Austria: Turks 'treated like a virus', says Turkish Ambassador

Austria: Turks 'treated like a virus', says Turkish Ambassador

Via Austrian Independent:

The Turkish ambassador in Vienna has risked a serious thrift between Austria and Turkey with statements made in an exceptional interview.

Speaking to Austrian newspaper Die Presse, Kadri Ecvet Tezcan claimed Turks in Vienna knew they were not welcome in Austria. He also revealed having been told that the Austrian foreign minister does not welcome ambassadors for meetings – and revealed he would relocate the United Nations (UN) from Vienna were he leader of the international organisation.

Asked why immigrants from Croatia seem to do better at school than most people from Turkey, Tezcan said: "Croats are Christians and therefore welcome in the society, while Turks aren’t. They are constantly being pushed to the corners of the society."


The ambassador however also stressed he registered many "stories of success". He said: "There are more than 3,500 Turkish businessmen and 110 Turkish doctors in Austria. (…) Why doesn’t the Austrian concentrate more on that?"

Tezcan emphasised he has been advising Turks living in Austria to learn German and respect the country's rules. He explained: "The Turks (in Austria) don’t want anything from you. They aren’t happy. They don’t want to be treated like a virus. (Austrian) Society should help them integrate – and then it would benefit from them.

"You don’t have to get more immigrants – you have got them here. But you have to believe in them, and they have to believe in you," the diplomat added.

Referring to the Freedom Party’s (FPÖ) success in last month’s Vienna city parliament ballot, Tezcan said: "Almost 30 per cent support a far-right party in a city which regards itself as the cultural centre of Europe. I would not stay here as head of the UN, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) or the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)."

The Turkish ambassador said: "If you don’t want any foreigners, why don’t you chase them away? There are many countries in the world where immigrants are welcome. You have to learn how to live together with others. What kind of problem does Austria have?"