Brussels: Tensions between Turks and Kurds

The unrest Sunday morning by the Kurdish community in the Brussels suburb of Sint-Joost-ten-Node broke into riots by the afternoon. After a fire in a Kurdish community center, about 50 Kurds had gathered to loudly protest. In the afternoon young Turks began to gather as well, till there were about 400.

Finally the police had to charge three times with a water cannon to break apart the Turks.

The fire by the community center started at about 2AM. The community center, which is on the ground floor, completely burned down, but the family the lives above the establishment was unhurt. According to the fire brigade there isn't any doubt that the fire had been set on purpose.

Two years ago a Kurdish community center was burned down by arson in the same neighborhood. The protesters Sunday morning demanded that the mayor come to the area and that surveillance cameras be put up.

The police had the situation under control and in the end the Kurds held a sit-in at the burned down center. That was not appreciated by young Turks from the neighborhood who saw the protest as a provocation.

About 4pm, the Turkish youth began to get more and more aggressive and the police felt the need to charge with a water cannon. Five people were arrested.

After that the rioters began to disperse and at about 5pm the quiet returned.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

See also: Belgium: Tensions between Sunnis and Shiites, Germany: Kurd attacks Turk in school 1, 2 (Dutch)

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