Turkish envoy causes discontentedness of Austrian public with critical remarks

09:15, November 11, 2010      

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The recent critical remarks of Turkish Ambassador to Austria, Kadri Ecved Tezcan, released by Austrian media on Wednesday, immediately caused a stir in Austria and aroused discontentedness among Austria public.

In a recent interview with the Austrian daily Die Presse, Tezcan fiercely criticized Austrian integration policy as well as the country of Austria and its nationals.

He criticized the Austrians for lack of tolerance to foreigners. He even said that the behavior of Austrian Interior Minister Maria Fekter is against "the free and open stance," and arguing that the integration policy implemented by his ministry is "overstepping its authority."

He also complained that the Austrians "are only interested in other cultures during their vacations."

Responding to these critical comments of the Turkish envoy, which was published by the Austrian daily Die Press on Wednesday, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann issued a statement on the same day, criticizing the Turkish ambassador's remarks are " unprofessional and unacceptable."

He also expressed his "outrage" to the remarks of the ambassador, believing that "it does not help the good relationship (between Austria and Turkey)."

Interior Minister Fekter also said in a statement that day, that she was "really surprised" by the attacks of the Turkish ambassador against Austria in general and her in particular.

She also noted: "It is an incredible derailment and dishonorable for an ambassador to attack his host country."

In responding to Tezcan's argument on the Interior Ministry in "overstepping its authority," she also replied that: "It is beyond an ambassador's power to assess to the Austrian Government, but the Parliament has decided."

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger also called his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, about the improper remarks of the Turkish ambassador this morning. He also said that "it has never happened" in Austria's diplomatic history.

Some party leaders of Austria and local government officials also issued statements on that day to criticize Ambassador Tezcan' s remarks.

However, according to the Austrian Press Agency (APA) on the same day, Turkish Foreign Minister was unaware of the interview made by Ambassador Tezcan in Austria. Ambassador Tezcan "is not authorized by Ankara government to receive the interview."

In the past, the immigration policy in Austria was more lenient, and a large number of immigrants with low educational level came to Austria. As these immigrants is difficult to get employed due to the low education, the unemployment rate reaches as high as above 10 percent, causing a lot of social problems.

To solve this problem, under the guidance of the principle of " integration before immigration," the Government of Austria in 2008 introduced new policies, requiring that the permanent residents must implement the "integration agreement" within the stipulated time.

Separate figures show that although the Turkish immigrants in Austria occupy a considerable proportion of local immigrants, they have generally low level of education. In 2009, 68 percent of Turkish immigrants have not completed compulsory education, and only 54 percent were able to find work.

A report of APA even said that in Austria, only 39 percent of Turkish immigrants can achieve the same market competition of Austrians on employment.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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