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AUSTRIA is forming a specialist group to investigate recent attacks on Kurdish women by fascists in Vienna.
Those thought to have carried out the attacks are associated with Turkey’s ruling coalition parties and Austrian officials have voiced suspicions that the Turkish state is involved.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer warned against “a foreign state” using organisations to cause unrest as he announced that the body will work to find out who was behind the attacks almost two weeks ago.
He expressed concern that the incidents were filmed by people with professional equipment and condemned the violence against a Kurdish left-wing demonstration.
The attack followed a rally in Vienna on June 24, which was organised by Kurdish women to protest against femicide in Turkey and against cuts to women’s shelters and other services in Austria.
They found themselves surrounded by a mob of hundreds of Turkish men who taunted them with the banned salute of the far-right Grey Wolves and chanted anti-Kurdish slogans, while expressing support for Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The women were forced to shelter for three hours in the Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus (EKH), home to a number of Kurdish, refugee and left-wing organisations.
Three days of unrest followed, when the EKH building was torched and other left-wing groups attacked.
Kurdish women reported being followed and threatened after the Turkish fascists found their home addresses.
Austria banned the Grey Wolves salute last year as part of a crackdown on fascist symbols.
Turkey “strongly condemned” the decision, warning that it “deeply offends bilateral relations.”
The June attacks were carried out by a co-ordinated network from Vienna’s Favoriten district.
The group is known to target Kurds and Alevis, patrolling the streets and trying to stop people speaking Kurdish or listening to Kurdish music.
They often supply police with photographs and names of those who have taken part in pro-Kurdish demonstrations, implying that they are terrorists.
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