ANKARA

Turkey criticized Austrian authorities late Tuesday over allegations of spying in Austria.

“We reject the unfounded allegations made about our country by the Austrian authorities,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement.

“It is clear that anti-Turkey circles are behind these allegations,” the statement added.

According to the statement, the remarks showed yet again that Austrian politics cannot escape from the spiral of populist discourse and opposition to Turkey.

“It should be known that this situation saddens the Turkish community in Austria and damages Turkey-Austria relations,” the statement said.

Turkey called on the Austrian government for “sincere cooperation” and to “abandon the pursuit of artificial agenda through Turkey with shallow internal political calculations, and to act with discretion and dignity of the state,” the statement added.

Earlier in the day, Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin took to Twitter to criticize Austrian authorities.

Kalin shared a Deutsche Welle Turkish article citing Reuters titled “Turkey wants to divide Austria.”

“Only Austria? What a shame,” he posted on Twitter along with three smiley face emojis.

According to the article, Austria’s Integration Minister Susanne Raab said that Ankara influences Turks living in Austria through associations and mosques and that Turkey aims to divide Austrian society.

According to estimates, a nearly 300,000-strong Turkish minority lives in Austria.

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