The decision follows the outcomes of the probe into photos of children in mosques backed by Turkey playing dead and reenacting the World War I battle of Gallipoli.
Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Friday Vienna will expel “several” foreign-funded imams and close seven mosques in a crackdown on “political Islam.”
The decision was made after an inquiry into photos that were made in an Austrian mosque. The showed boys wearing military uniforms, marching, saluting, carrying Turkish flags in reenaction of 1915-16 battle of Gallipoli, which saw the defeat of the allied forces by the Turks during the World War I.
Kurz has been a consistent critic of “political Islam,” ordering the development of a “child protection” law banning hijabs in pre-schools and primary schools, in order to ensure that “children do not face discrimination at that age.”
Moreover, the chancellor has opposed Turkey’s accession to the EU, citing “system systematic violations of human rights and essential democratic values” by Ankara.
Currently, about one hundred thousand Turkish citizens live in Austria.
The relations between Austria and Turkey have been strained after Vienna has hampered Ankara’s EU and NATO integration aims.
After that, Ankara slammed Vienna for including right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), known for its anti-immigration position, in a ruling coalition.