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Vienna Bars Turkish Visit To Mark Coup Bid Anniversary

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Visit by Turkey's economy minister to mark 1 year since defeated coup denied for 'security reasons,' claims Austria

Austria on Monday barred a top Turkish official from visiting the country for an event marking the first anniversary of last year’s coup attempt.

As Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci would appear in public, his planned visit could endanger “public order and security,” claimed a statement by Austria’s Foreign Ministry. Zeybekci could always visit the country for bilateral relations, it added.

Zeybekci was invited to an event in Vienna next Sunday, July 16 organized by the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) to mark the anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt, which claimed 250 lives.

The decision comes two days after the Netherlands also rejected a visit by Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes for an event marking the failed coup’s anniversary.

Responding to the Dutch move, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Turkish citizens abroad are organizing events to mark the coup bid "independent of our bilateral relations" with the countries where they live.

"The declaration made by the Netherlands is exemplary in that it shows the state of democracy in the country," said a ministry statement.

In recent months Turkey has strongly objected to European governments denying its officials permission to hold rallies or address expatriate citizens. This included President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who last week wanted to address Turkish expats in Germany when he visited for the G20 summit, and several officials who were barred from addressing citizens ahead of Turkey’s April 16 constitutional referendum.


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