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Austrian far right concerned by Turkish anti-coup rallies

Austria's far-right Freedom Party candidate for president has called for an investigation on Turkish residents who took to the streets of the capital Vienna in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.


In an interview to the Austrian Oesterreich daily, Norbert Hofer called Sunday for an investigation on Turkish residents who crowded Vienna streets with Turkish flags to support for democracy in Turkey.


Tensions between Austria -- where around 300,000 people of Turkish origin live -- and Turkey were raised last month when the mayor of Wiener Neustadt, around 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Vienna, called for the removal of Turkish flags hung by residents celebrating the defeat of the July 15 coup attempt.


Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz had also spoken out against “importing the political conflict to Austria” following demonstrations in support of Turkish democracy.


Hofer added he was concerned that numerous Turks had Austrian citizenship. Austrian law imposes strict restrictions on dual citizenship. 


He called for a "ban on naturalization for Turks living in Austria until the dual citizenship issue is solved". 


Hofer went on to say that If Turkey joined the EU then he would support an Austrian exit from the bloc.


On Aug. 3, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern had also called accession talks with Turkey a "diplomatic fiction" and said he wanted the EU leaders to reconsider their approach with regards to Ankara. 


Turkey has been a candidate country for EU membership since 2005.


On July 1, Austria’s Constitutional Court annulled the results of May’s presidential election and called for a rerun.


Gehart Holzinger, the court’s president, had ordered a repeat of the run-off vote that saw former Green leader Alexander Van der Bellen narrowly beat the far-right Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer.


The court said the election would have to be repeated nationwide after the discovery of irregularities in the count in several voting districts.


Austria's presidential election will take place on Oct. 2.


(Reporting by Hasan Tosun; Writing by Fatma Bulbul)

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