Turkey's ambassador to Austria prompts immigration spat

Austria's Interior Minister Maria Fekter Austria's Interior Minister Maria Fekter was advised to steer clear of integration issues by Turkey's envoy

Related Stories

Turkey's ambassador to Austria has been summoned to the foreign ministry in Vienna for criticising attitudes towards immigrants.

Kadri Ecved Tezcan said that Turks were quite happy in Austria but did not wish to be treated "like a virus".

In an interview, he added that if he were the head of an organisation such as the UN he would not stay in Vienna.

The foreign ministry said it was very unusual for a diplomat to behave in such a manner.

Responding to the interview with the Austrian daily Die Presse, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger spoke by telephone to his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, on Wednesday morning.

An hour later, Mr Tezcan arrived at the ministry to discuss his remarks.

Start Quote

You must learn to live with others. What's Austria's problem?”

End Quote Kadri Ecved Tezcan Turkish ambassador to Austria

In the interview with Austrian daily Die Presse, the ambassador complained that Turks were often accused of creating ghettos even though he said it was Austrian housing policy that sent them to the same neighbourhoods.

"You must learn to live with others," he said. "What's Austria's problem?"

Mr Tezcan also called on Austria's Interior Minister Maria Fekter to keep away from issues of integration, arguing that the only solution her ministry offered involved the police.

A seasoned diplomat, Mr Tezcan, 61, became ambassador to Austria last year.

He was also critical of remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in which she argued that multiculturalism had failed.

An estimated 350,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria.

The issue of Turkish integration in both Germany and Austria is due to be addressed in the spring at a conference hosted by the Austrian government.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Europe stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.