INTERNATIONAL

Turkey slams Austria for closing mosques

Ankara, June 9: Turkey on Friday slammed Austria over the latter’s decision to shut down seven mosques and expel 40 clerics as they are foreign-funded. “We condemn Austrian politicians, especially Chancellor (Sebastian) Kurz, for trying to achieve political interest from these alarming developments, rather than fighting racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia and the rise of the extreme right,” Xinhua quoted Turkish Foreign Ministry as saying. Kurz said earlier on Friday that his decision was part of a crackdown on “political Islam”. He said that investigators found out that the activities of seven mosques, one of which belongs to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations, were found to be forbidden. The Ministry warned that the Austrian move also contributes to the rise of Islamophobia and racism in Europe, and will affect the ongoing efforts to normalize the bilateral ties. (IANS)