First Published: 2017-03-16

Austria scraps ‘political’ Turkish concert
Feud between EU, Ankara resumes as Austria cancels concert by Turkish musicians that ‘clearly belong to far-right scene’.
Middle East Online

Innsbruck's Olympic Hall made the decision

INNSBRUCK - The venue for a Turkish music concert in Austria cancelled the event on Thursday over its apparent "political" nature, amid an escalating row between Turkey and the EU.

Innsbruck's Olympic Hall said it took the decision on the basis of "information about the organisation of the event (on Saturday) and about the performing artists Osman Oztunc and Gokhan Tekin".

Guenther Platter, premier of Tyrol state in western Austria, said that the musicians "clearly belong to the Turkish nationalist and far-right scene and are close to the Grey Wolves".

The Grey Wolves are the radical wing of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The ultra-nationalist MHP is the main ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) in pushing through constitutional changes to create a strong presidential system.

Turks will vote on these changes in a referendum on April 16. Critics say they will give Erdogan too much power.

Germany, the Netherlands and other EU states have blocked Turkish officials from holding campaign rallies for the referendum, drawing an irate response from Ankara.

Four events in Austria by an AKP politician and a former minister were cancelled last weekend.

Some 360,000 people of Turkish origin call Austria home, including 117,000 Turkish citizens.

Platter said that he would "not allow the polarising Turkish referendum campaign to be imported into Tyrol".

 

Kurdish militia fire rockets at Turkish town

Saudi calls for cooperation between OPEC, non-OPEC countries

The changing faces of al-Qaeda in Syria

Yemen releases budget for first time in three years

US to overtake Saudi as world’s second crude oil producer

France presses Turkey to end offensive against Kurds

Moroccans wary depreciation of dirham could raise cost of living, despite benefits

Deserted streets, terrified civilians after Turkey attacks Afrin

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs

Turkey's EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

Sudan clamps down on journalists covering bread protests

Tribal feuds spread fear in Iraq's Basra

Turkey says not reassured by US comments on border force

UN chief wants to revive Syria gas attack probe

US has no intention to build border force in Syria

Lebanese intelligence service may be spying using smartphones worldwide

Egypt's Sisi sacks intelligence chief

Trump dashes Netanyahu’s hope to move US embassy to Jerusalem

Cyprus denies bail for Israeli organ trafficker

Rising Yemen currency sparks hopes of relief

Turkish ministries to investigate underage pregnancy cover-up

Iraq PM launches online appeal for election allies

Iran central bank sees claim for billions from German stock market blocked

Iraq signs deal with BP to develop Kirkuk oil fields

Israeli occupation forces raid Jenin, kill Palestinian

HRW chief says 'Nobody should be forcibly returned to Libya'

IS poses threat to Iraq one month after 'liberation'

Seven years since ousting dictator, Tunisians still protest

Iran says Trump jeopardising Airbus deals

China says Iranian oil tanker wreck located

Sudan arrests communist leader after protests

Syrian opposition joins condemnation of US 'border force'