Ankara extends Vienna envoy's term as relations return to normal

Published 07.06.2017 22:36

Sour bilateral relations between Turkey and Austria are expected to return to normal as Turkey's Ambassador to Austria Hasan Göğüş will continue his duties in Vienna and Austrian Ambassador to Ankara Klaus Wölfer was given a seat at President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's table at the 10th Annual Iftar Dinner for Foreign Mission Chefs held in Ankara Tuesday night. Diplomatic sources told Daily Sabah that Ankara has decided to reappoint Hasan Göğüş to his post as Turkey's ambassador to Austria after he was recalled in August 2016 amid strained relations between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at the time that Turkey was withdrawing its ambassador to Austria, stating that the envoy was called back to Ankara "for consultations and to revise relations." Ankara's decision had come after Austrian authorities banned Turkish citizens from holding a rally against the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in the country while allowing a pro-PKK march to take place. Another positive development in bilateral relations between the countries took place on Tuesday night at the iftar dinner held by President Erdoğan at the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarters in Ankara. Austrian Ambassador to Ankara Wölfer was hosted at Erdoğan's table.

The two countries are now expected to forge better ties in the wake of positive steps taken from Ankara. Ankara and Vienna had previously exchanged harsh words and ultimatums over several issues and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern has been a staunch anti-Turkey figure. He called for an EU-wide ban on election campaign appearances by Turkish politicians during the April 16 referendum campaigning period in Turkey. Kern in August 2016 also called accession talks with Turkey a "diplomatic fiction" and said he wanted EU leaders to reconsider their approach with regards to Ankara.

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