Friday, November 12, 2010

Austria: Turkish ambassador to keep post

The Turkish ambassador in Vienna will not be removed from office – despite stressing he would relocate the United Nations (UN) from Vienna were he leader of the international organisation.Turkish newspapers reported today (Fri) that the country’s government had no plans to dismiss Ambassador Kadri Ecvet Tezcan. The 61-year-old took over as Turkish ambassador in Austria just one year ago, but infuriated political leaders with a string of controversial claims made in an interview with daily newspaper Die Presse earlier this week.Tezcan said children from families with a Croatian background were mostly doing better at schools in Austria "because they are welcome in the society for being Christians. Turks aren’t – that’s why they are constantly being pushed to the corners of society."The diplomat also attacked Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Interior Minister Maria Fekter. Tezcan called on Fekter to "stop interfering" in the integration process. The ambassador said it was no surprise there were just "police solutions" to the issue as long as the current interior ministry was in charge.All five parties represented in the Austrian parliament but the Greens generally criticised Tezcan for his remarks. Alexander Van der Bellen, the Green Party’s foreign affairs spokesman, however praised the ambassador for his "refreshingly undiplomatic approach" and called on political rivals to openly discuss raised issues.
austrian times

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