March 10, 2017 / 4:48 PM / 3 years ago

Swiss police ban pro-Erdogan speech; Turkish minister seeks new venue

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at the International Tourism Trade Fair ITB in Berlin, Germany, March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss police cancelled a speech planned for Friday by a Turkish politician who wanted to rally support among expatriates to vote to increase President Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.

The police cited “significant security risks” for their decision to stop the evening event in the northern canton of Aargau, following similar decisions made in neighbouring Germany and Austria.

Objections in western Europe to events to support the April 16 referendum to strengthen the powers of the presidency have angered Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is still looking for a new venue for an event on Sunday after one hotel near Zurich pulled out on security grounds and an alternative, in the city of Winterthur, was rejected as inappropriate.

A call by Zurich’s security chief for Cavusoglu to be barred from speaking there has been rejected by the Swiss government.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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