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Turks demonstrate in Zurich after failed putsch

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Turks demonstrate in Zurich after failed putsch
Photo: Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP
11:19 CEST+02:00
Hundreds of Turks gathered outside the Turkish consulate in Zurich on Saturday night in support of Turkish democracy after the failed coup on Friday.

Many at the peaceful demonstration brandished the Turkish flag while some wore T-shirts featuring an image of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reported news agencies.

Some were there in support of the president himself, while others attended to defend “democracy”, they told ATS.

According to daily 20 Minuten, the failed military coup on Friday night mobilized many within Switzerland's large Turkish community to demonstrate, whether they supported Erodgan or not.

One demonstrator, whose real name was not given, said she did not want Erdogan as president but “such a military coup would have damaged our population” and created “war-like conditions”.

Speaking to the paper, the president of the Turkish Community Switzerland (TGS), Kahraman Tunaboylu, said the events were not just about Erdogan.

“This was an illegal act against the democratically elected government of Turkey and against democracy,” he said.

There are around 120,000 Turks in Switzerland, some 40,000 with Swiss citizenship, according to TGS.

Around 6,000 people including 29 top generals were arrested in Turkey following Friday's failed putsch, which killed 290.

Helping hand

The action in Turkey disrupted the travel plans of the Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann who was due to fly back to Switzerland from a conference in Mongolia on Saturday morning.

Booked to travel on Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, Schneider-Ammann was facing the possible cancellation of his flight when the German chancellor Angela Merkel stepped in and offered the three-man Swiss delegation space on her plane to Berlin.

“It was probably the longest conversation a Swiss president has ever had with a German head of government,” a spokesman for the Swiss department of economic affairs told the Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper.

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