Europe

Austria: Ban on Turkish nationalist salute in practice

Violators of law prohibiting Turkey's nationalist 'Grey Wolves' to be fined, or jailed

Askin Kiyagan   | 01.03.2019
Austria: Ban on Turkish nationalist salute in practice

VIENNA

The law banning Turkey's nationalist "Grey Wolves" salute in Austria came into force on Friday. 

In December 2018, the Austrian parliament accepted the law banning symbols of "extremist organizations" in the country to block terror propaganda.

People violating the law in public areas may be fined up to €4,000 ($4,553) or given a-month prison term under the amended law.

Violators may face €10,000 ($11,386) fine or a six-week jail term if the breach of ban is repeated.

In 2015, this law was firstly implemented to avoid the propaganda of terrorist organizations such as Daesh and al-Qaeda and then expanded as symbols of PKK, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, the military wing of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Croatian Ustasa were added.  

Turkey calls on Austria to ‘correct mistake’

In February, Turkey rejected and condemned Austria’s move to ban the "Grey Wolves" salute, connected to Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Under changes to the 2014 Symbol Act passed last December, the Rabaa sign, an anti-coup symbol, and Turkey’s nationalist “Grey Wolves” salute were both banned in Austria in a move to prohibit symbols of extremist organizations.

"It is scandalous that the ‘Grey Wolves’ salute, which is the symbol of a legal political party in Turkey, is on the same list as the symbol of the PKK, a bloody terrorist organization," the statement said.

The ministry called on Austria to "correct this mistake," saying it “deeply offends bilateral relations between Turkey and Austria."

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.

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