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Austrian foreign minister speaks against state of emergency in Turkey

Imposing a state of emergency in Turkey may lead to strengthening authoritarianism, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said on Thursday.

"The state of emergency will lead to consolidating even more power in the hands of the president, and we are concerned that more authoritarian actions will follow. That's why we summoned the (Turkish) ambassador today," Kurz said.

The Austrian Foreign Ministry "wants to understand how the situation will develop," he noted.

Vienna is also concerned with the fact that Turkish authorities encouraged multi-thousand demonstrations of Turks residing in Austria following the failed coup attempt. "We have information that demonstrations in Vienna were initiated directly from Turkey. This is unacceptable, and we want to express our protest against this," Kurz stressed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday that the state of emergency will be imposed in the country for three months following a failed military coup attempt. This will provide an opportunity "to promptly respond to actions of different terrorist organizations," Erdogan said.

Coup attempt in Turkey

A group of insurgents attempted a coup in Turkey overnight to July 17. Bombs were dropped on the parliament building and the presidential palace in Ankara. The country's leadership later said that the coup was quashed. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that the situation is under the control of the official government.

According to latest reports, about 190 civilians and 100 putschists died and nearly 1,500 more people were injured. Over 6,000 people were arrested after a failed coup attempt. Over 7,500 people were detained on suspicion of involvement into the coup attempt. Among them are two presidential adjutants, 100 policemen, 6,038 servicemen and 755 judges and prosecutors.

[Source: Itar Tass, Vienna, 21Jul16]

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