Conflict between Turks and Kurds in Bern over the weekend provoked a strong reaction from Swiss politicians. According to the newspaper 20 Minutes, violence broke out between Turkish and Kurdish marchers in Bern leaving 22 hurt, including four police officers and a police dog. In the video below a car can be seen crashing into a group of people.
These scenes follow recent violence in Turkey and northern Irak involving Turks and Kurds.
Swiss councillor Thomas Hurter of the UDC expressed outrage when he said “what happened in Bern this past Saturday is simply catastrophic. It’s unacceptable for foreign groups to settle their conflicts in Switzerland. Those who don’t respect the law must expect repercussions”, adding that “those responsible for the clashes must be brought to justice and punished severely”.
Corina Eichenberger-Walther of the PLR said “certain people involved in this weekend’s outbursts don’t understand how problems are solved in Switzerland. The democratic institutions of our country leave no place for this kind of behaviour”. She requested that future marches by Turks or Kurds be accompanied with sufficient security.
Yvonne Gilli, of the Green party said that “tensions between Kurds and Turks are high at the moment. We must not forget that many Kurds and Turks still have family members living in conflict zones, which partly explains the discord”. She then added that “the Federal council must talk to Turks and Kurds living in Switzerland and encourage them to make peace”. Nevertheless she thinks banning the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), as the US and EU have done, would be counter productive. “That would be like throwing fuel on the fire”.
Full 20 Minutes article (in English)