Turkey summons Swiss envoy over Kurdish rally

Turkey summoned the Swiss ambassador on Sunday to protest at a Kurdish rally in Bern which Ankara dubbed a "terrorist gathering", a diplomatic source said.

Turkey summons Swiss envoy over Kurdish rally
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the Swiss for hosting a Kurdish rally in Bern. Photo: Ozan Kose/AFP

“Walter Haffner has been summoned to our (foreign) ministry where he has been made aware of our displeasure… The ambassador has been told those responsible must face justice,” the source said.

Several thousand people attended Saturday's rally called by Kurdish associations and Swiss political parties in Bern.

Ankara believes the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Turkey dubs a terrorist group, was behind the rally where some people brandished a banner showing a gun pointing at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's head alongside the words “Kill Erdogan”.

Erdogan criticised the Swiss for hosting the event, warning that “you will reap what you have sown”.

The Turkish leader has been angered by the refusal of several European states to allow Turkish ministers to campaign on the continent for a 'yes' vote in next month's referendum on expanding his powers.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had on Saturday informed Swiss counterpart Didier Burkhalter of his country's anger over the march.

On Friday, Swiss prosecutors said they had opened an investigation into alleged spying on Turks living in Switzerland by an unspecified intelligence service after the attorney general's office cited “concrete suspicions” of espionage.

Burkhalter has previously voiced concerns about a crackdown in Turkey following a failed July coup against Erdogan that Ankara has blamed on US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.


Travel in Switzerland: Geneva airport launches more Christmas flights

An increased number of flights will link the Swiss city with dozens of international destinations.

Travel in Switzerland: Geneva airport launches more Christmas flights
SWISS and EasyJet will fly to 70 destinations. Photo by AFP

Starting on December 19th, the timetable from Geneva’s Cointrin airport will be expanded to include 70 cities.

Most flights will be operated by EasyJet and SWISS.

The flagship airline will jet to 15 cities, including two new destinations — Marrakech in Morocco and Hurghada in Egypt.

EasyJet will fly to 40 cities in Europe. It will ensure nonstop flights to Spain, Portugal, France, and Greece, among other popular destinations.

It will also be possible to fly again to many regions of central and eastern Europe, where flights were discontinued or sharply reduced during the pandemic.

They include Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Kosovo.

Before you book a flight, however, be aware of most recent regulations and restrictions that are in effect at your destination.

READ MORE: Covid-19: What you need to know if you are travelling abroad from Switzerland

Some countries require you to be tested for Covid-19 prior to arrival and present a negative result. Others have a compulsory quarantine.

Switzerland also requires arrivals from certain countries to self-quarantine for 10 days. 

Whether on arrival or return, quarantine means you won’t be able to go out or receive guests during the time mandated by the government — usually between 10 and 14 days.