BERN, Switzerland

Swiss prosecutors launched a case Tuesday against four people over a banner targeting Turkiye’s president at a rally held in 2017. 

Ahead of a constitutional referendum in Turkiye, a protest rally against the Turkish government was held in the Swiss capital Bern, during which some demonstrators carried a banner featuring an image of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the words “Kill Erdogan with his own weapons” and a gun being pointed at his head. The Swiss police did not intervene.

The rally was organized in Parliament Square in front of the federal parliament building by extreme left groups in the country and by sympathizers of the PKK and YPG terrorist organizations and far-left terror group DHKP-C.

Prosecutors at the time opened a probe for “alleged public provocation of crimes or violence,” and an investigation was also opened in Turkiye.

The prosecutor’s office did not share the indictment it prepared against the four suspects with the press on the grounds of protecting their privacy.

In the case, in which the Swiss press showed interest, members of the press were made to sign a document at the entrance of the court stating they would not publish any information about the suspects.

Swiss police also adopted extensive security measures inside and outside the court. A small group that came to support the suspects demonstrated in front of the court building.

The Turkish foreign minister had demanded that Switzerland and other countries either take measures against PKK terrorists or extradite them to Turkiye.

Although the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US and the European Union, it is not listed as one in Switzerland.

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