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Bilateral Relations Seven Swiss nationals being held in Turkey

A picture of president Erdogan

Following the failed coup attempt almost two years ago, president Erdogan has declared a state of emergency and sacked more than 100,000 civil servants. 

(Keystone)

The foreign ministry as confirmed that seven Swiss-Turkish dual citizens are currently being held in Turkey.

The individuals had either been arrested or prevented from leaving Turkey following the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in the country in July 2016, confirmed the Foreign Affairs Ministryexternal link to several German-language newspapers on Monday.

The individuals were being held in Turkey on suspicion of having links with banned organisations, said the ministry. It did not provide any further information on individual cases, citing data protection and privacy reasons.

In addition, several Turkish nationals with Swiss residency permits have been either detained or arrested in Turkey.

Providing consular protection to the individuals affected is difficult because the Turkish authorities regard Swiss-Turkish dual citizens as Turkish nationals only. In the case of imprisonment, consular protection would include a request to the relevant authorities in the country to visit the arrested person.

Travel warning

The ministry has also adapted its travel adviceexternal link for Turkey. It specifically includes an alert that the Turkish police may prevent persons from leaving the country until the relevant matter has been settled.

Circumstances for which someone could be held in Turkey include prosecuting an individual over alleged connections to the attempted coup or in relation to suspected links to prohibited organisations. 

+ Turkish embassy accused of spreading propaganda 

The travel advice also states that the current emergency situation entitles the Turkish government to impose various restrictions on fundamental rights such as the freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of movement and curfews.

During a state of emergency, arrests can be made without a court order and entry or exit barriers may be imposed, according to the ministry.

Following the failed coup attempt almost two years ago, president Erdogan has declared a state of emergency and sacked more than 100,000 civil servants over their alleged connections to the Gülen movement, on which the government blamed the coup attempt.

In addition, more than 70,000 people have been imprisoned in Turkey since then, and numerous newspapers and associations have been closed down.

SDA-ATS/ln

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