Erdoğan's long arms reach Switzerland

Erdoğan wants Turkish citizens in Switzerland to be followed for "insults" against him
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 02:57

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants Turkish citizens in Switzerland to be followed for "insults" against him. According to Swiss resources, Erdoğan wanted Swiss government to provide intelligence about Turkish citizens living in Switzerland who criticize and comment about him. Erdoğan also demanded these people to be sued.

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP based this demand on the claim that the government shares intelligence with Switzerland. It is reported that the weekly intelligence demanded by AKP government includes "insults" against Erdoğan shared on social media sites. Bern did not answer this demand yet.

However, Swiss state can share this intelligence with Turkey only if these "insults" are deemed as a crime according to Swiss laws. It is known that in Switzerland, insults against Swiss politicians can be punished by penalty fine even if the "insulters" are judged by Swiss legal authorities.

Swiss state has the right to totally neglect this demand by the Turkish government. It is possible that Swiss authorities would consider this demand as a part of Erdoğan's efforts to oppress his opponents.

Erdoğan had demanded Switzerland remove picture showing then-prime minister of killing a 15-year-old boy, Berkin Elvan during anti-government protests in Turkey in 2013.

April 25, 2016 – visitors view a picture by Swiss photojournalist Demir Sönmez at the Place des Nations in Geneva of Berkin Elvan, who was fatally injured during mass demonstrations against then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “My name is Berkin Elvan. The police killed me, on the order of Turkey's prime minister,” says a caption under the photo of Elvan.