Foreign Ministry condemns Austria airport for anti-Turkey message

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 14.08.2016 14:02
Updated 14.08.2016 18:39

The Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Vienna Airport on Sunday and summoned Austria's charge d'affaires in Ankara for a live ticker containing false and provocative information about the age of consent in Turkey, the second instance the European airport spreads distorted and misleading messages about Turkey in less than a month.

The ministry said in a statement that they have taken the necessary action and instructed the Turkish Embassy in Vienna to express reaction against the incident.

"Turkey is a state that aims to protect and develop universal human rights and as a respected member of the international society, Turkey is committed to international agreements and protocols in terms of children's rights" the foreign ministry said, and added that Turkey is aware of its responsibilities in this regard.

The statement noted that Austria, which is becoming the center of increasing racism and xenophobia in Europe, should focus on improving these issues through its political sphere, the media and society. It added that Turkey sees the exhibition of false messages about it with the aim to fuel hate speech against a group of people, as the manifestation of these issues.

Furthermore, the statement underscored that the remarks by some Austrian politicians and officials in recent days opposing Turkey's accession to the European Union, encourage such defamatory messages to be displayed.

"This tendency also damages the social integration and peace of over 300,000 Turkish citizens who live in Austria" the ministry said.

A live ticker belonging to Kronen Zeitung daily displayed at Vienna Airport on Saturday falsely claimed that Turkey allows sexual intercourse with children under the age of 15.

Shortly after the failed July 15 coup attempt, the Vienna airport displayed a sign urging people not to visit Turkey, saying: "Traveling to Turkey means you are supporting [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan." The sign was later removed after the Turkish ambassador to Austria, Mehmet Hasan Göğüş, visited the airport on an order from Çavuşoğlu.

In July, a mayor in an Austrian town prohibited residents from hanging Turkish flags in their homes to show support for democracy in Turkey following the brutal coup attempt, casting a shadow on freedom of expression in the country.

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