Visit by Turkish foreign minister to Switzerland: no exceptional security threat justifying restrictions on freedom of expression

Press release, 09.03.2017

The Swiss federal services responsible for security consider that the visit by the Turkish foreign minister to Zurich on Sunday does not currently pose a particularly high security threat to Switzerland’s internal security. There are no grounds for forbidding the visit.

The Federal Council security delegation (FDFA/FDJP/DDPS) has taken note of this additional analysis, which was undertaken in response to requests from the Canton of Zurich. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) replied to this effect to the president of the Zurich Council of State, following his letter expressing concerns about the wisdom of the visit.

The federal services will continue to monitor the situation closely and are ready to revise their recommendations if need be. A meeting between an FDFA representative and the Turkish ambassador to discuss the arrangements for the visit took place in Bern on Thursday. The federal government also remains in close contact with the Zurich authorities.

The federal government wishes to reiterate the importance of the principle of freedom of expression in Switzerland. It expects the authorities of other countries, including Turkey, to accord this principle the same importance.

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs