: Austria is 'capital of radical racism' - Turkish FM

15:02 Aug. 5, 2016

Austria is 'capital of radical racism' - Turkish FM

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the media during a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, July 29, 2016 (AP photo)

Sharp comments came as a response to Austria's initiative to quit EU accession talks with Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minster Mevlut Cavusoglu called Austria the "capital of radical racism" on Friday after Chancellor Christian Kern suggested ending European Union accession talks with Ankara, Reuters reports.

In an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber, Cavusoglu said Kern's comments, spurred in part by a crackdown on suspected perpetrators of a failed coup last month, were "ugly" and that he rejected them all.

"The Austrian chancellor should first take a look at his own country. One of the trends that is an enemy of human rights and values is racism and today Austria is the capital of radical racism," he said.

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Kern said on Wednesday he would start a discussion among European heads of government to quit talks with Turkey citing democratic and economic deficits.

Talks have made only slow progress since they began in 2005, with only one of 35 "chapters" concluded.

Cavusoglu's comments drew immediate reaction from Vienna. Austrian Freign Minister Sebastian Kurz called on Ankara to moderate its words and actions.

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