Are Turkey's strained relations with the European Union, which it still hopes to join, starting to spill over into other international organizations? That seems to be the case after a diplomatic spat has developed between Turkey and Austria over the selection of a new head for the Organizations for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). From the Austrian Independent:
The Turkish government decided at the weekend to veto Ursula Plassnik’s application for the position as secretary-general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The former Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) foreign minister said earlier this year she wanted to take over from Marc Perrin de Brichambaut. The French diplomat’s term ends on 30 June.
Turkey argued that the ÖVP MP "does not accept" the country’s European identity. The Austrian was harshly criticised by Turkey during her term as federal foreign minister between 2004 and 2008 due to her opposition to the country’s bid to join the European Union (EU). Austria became a member of the EU in 1995. Turkey has held talks with European leaders about an accession since the 1960s.
ÖVP Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said today (Mon) Turkey’s veto was "totally incomprehensible and baseless."
The minister warned Austria will consider very carefully which stand to take on Turkish regards of international meaning from now due to the country’s decision to speak out against Plassnik’s application.
Full details here. And more from Today's Zaman here.