Switzerland rejects Zurich's request to cancel Turkish visit

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will have a weekend visit to Switzerland despite requests from authorities to cancel over security concerns

Switzerland on Thursday rejected a request from Zurich authorities to cancel over security concerns a weekend visit by Turkey's foreign minister, after several German regions blocked rallies to back a Turkish referendum.

"There is nothing to justify the cancellation of this visit," a Swiss government statement said, referring to Sunday's scheduled trip to Zurich by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The visit "does not represent a particularly heightened threat from a security point of view", it added.

Zurich on Wednesday asked that the visit be cancelled, with the canton's security spokesman Urs Grob warning of possible "heavy demonstrations" if Cavusoglu were to come.

That followed an acrimonious row between Ankara and Berlin over Cavusoglu's planned trip to Switzerland's neighbour Germany.

The diplomatic tour is aimed at rallying support ahead of an April 16 referendum in Turkey on whether to strengthen the president's powers.

After several German local authorities barred rallies, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Berlin of resorting to tactics "not different from Nazi practices".

Zurich said it had stressed the controversy in Germany in its request to the Swiss federal government.

Bern said it reserved the right to change its decision if the situation evolved.

Cavusoglu said Thursday that his government was still planning around 30 rallies in Germany and that he expected Berlin to "solve this problem."

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes