The Zurich public prosecutor’s office has launched an initial investigation into Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s European Union minister, over alleged racist remarks.
At a Zurich concert on his way home from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Bagis reportedly told journalists that there had been no Armenian genocide and that the Swiss authorities could come and arrest him if they wanted to.
Such comments are in violation of Switzerland’s anti-racism laws. The public prosecutor of canton Zurich is now looking into the matter to determine whether Bagis has indeed committed a criminal offence.
As the authorities told the Swiss News Agency on Monday, it is still unclear exactly what Bagis said and whether he qualifies for diplomatic immunity.
The story was first published on Sunday in the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper. It has also made headlines in Turkey.
Turkey has summoned the Swiss envoy to complain about the investigation. It rejects historical findings that up 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed under the Ottoman empire nearly 100 years ago.
More to follow.
swissinfo.ch and agencies