World Austrian Parliament imposes arms embargo on Turkey

Austrian Parliament imposes arms embargo on Turkey
Turkish soldiers march during a Republic Day ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 29, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Parliament of Austria on Thursday unilaterally passed a bill that designated imposition of an arms embargo on Turkey over its government’s policies at home and abroad.

A Kurdish member of the Austrian Parliament, Berivan Aslan, announced the adoption of the resolution on Twitter.

The Austrian law banned the sale and export of weaponry to countries where human rights were threatened or violated, said the daily Der Standard.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been sacked from their jobs in Turkey, as about 40,000, including Kurdish politicians and journalists, have been imprisoned in the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup attempt.

The arms embargo by Austria followed the European Parliament’s non-binding vote to freeze EU accession talks with Turkey.

The bill voted in favor by all six parties of both the government and opposition at the Austrian Parliament was met with condemnation and defiance in Ankara on Friday.

Turkey’s Defense Minister Fikri Isik invoked the 1974 arms embargo by his country’s NATO ally the US when Turkish armed forces invaded northern Cyprus.

Isik said the US embargo back then was harsher and led to the foundation of ASELSAN, a Turkish state manufacturer of electronic defense systems.

“It is an unfortunate decision. I am sure such developments will create the motivation to produce national and home-made weapons, we condemn this decision taken by Austria in clearest terms,” said Isik.

Isik, who declared Turkey was “never” instigating military tensions in the region, was visiting the headquarters of the ASELSAN in the capital Ankara, reported the private-owned Turkish Dogan news agency.

Locked in a decades-long guerrilla warfare against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkey relies on foreign-made, mostly US-produced warplanes, missiles, tanks, artillery, arms, and ammunition.

The Turkish Army, NATO’s second-largest, had recently gotten involved in the Syrian Civil War to fight the Islamic State (IS) and prevent the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from creating a territorially contiguous state in Syrian Kurdistan.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany