Turkey slams Swiss decision to not charge protesters over Erdoğan banner
ANKARATurkey has denounced a decision of Swiss authorities to not charge protesters who held a large banner featuring President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with a gun pointed at his head during a demonstration in Switzerland in March, Doğan News Agency has reported.
Speaking at a press conference in the capital Ankara on May 9, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hüseyin Müftüoğlu said they were astonished by the decision.
“It is obvious that this decision will promote similar crimes in Switzerland and will encourage offenders,” he said.
Müftüoğlu called on Swiss authorities to take necessary steps to reverse the decision. “We expect from Swiss authorities to complete the criminal probe soon and for the offenders to get punished,” he said.
He urged Swiss authorities to take measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such “unacceptable acts.”
Ahead of the April 16 constitutional referendum, a rally in the capital Bern featured the banner.
However municipal authorities in Bern said the organizers had not breached the rules of demonstrations, the NZZ daily reported on May 8, quoting local police chief Marc Heeb.
Supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as well as the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C) and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), took part in the rally in front of the Federal Parliament building, located in Parliament Square in Bern.
Turkey summoned the Swiss ambassador to Ankara over the demonstration.
Investigations have been launched into the banner that targeted Erdoğan, both in Turkey and Switzerland on March 27, after Ankara reacted harshly against it.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office’s Terror and Organized Crime Bureau has launched an investigation into the banner, and a note was sent to the police in order to identify those responsible. The investigation has been launched on accusations of “making propaganda of a terrorist organization,” “membership of a terrorist organization” and “insulting the president.”
Another probe was launched in Switzerland by the Bern Mittelland Prosecutor’s Office. The canton of Bern’s police spokesperson, Dominik Jaggi, said the investigation was launched over “openly calling for crime and violence.”