Erdogan speaks out against Swiss banner display

President says banner threatening 'Kill Erdogan' on show at weekend rally shows lack of resolve in fight against terror.

Turkey will not be hindered by “cheap banners”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday -- a reference to a threatening banner displayed at a rally in Switzerland at the weekend, according to Anadolu Agency.

Addressing a crowd in the Black Sea province of Samsun, Erdogan said July’s failed coup “proved that F-16s could not prevent us -- these cheap banners certainly cannot hinder us.”

On Saturday, a demonstration in Swiss capital Bern against proposals to introduce a presidential system in Turkey saw a banner displayed reading “Kill Erdogan with his own weapons” and a handgun aimed at the president’s head.

Swiss prosecutors have since launched an investigation into the banner, which police did not confiscate at the protest. Slogans in support of the PKK -- a group designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and U.S. but not Switzerland -- were also heard at the event.

Erdogan said the display outside the federal parliament in Bern would “stay as a black stain on your history”.

The incident indicated that Switzerland was not sincere in the fight against terrorism, he added. “If you want to prove your sincerity, you should dismiss all of the terrorists from your country,” Erdogan said. “Your streets are full terrorists. In Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the situation is the same.”

The rally for a No vote in the upcoming constitutional referendum that could grant wide-ranging powers to the president was organized by the PKK, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Monday.


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