Berlin/Utrecht: Turkish protests

In Berlin a Turkish protest turned violent, while in Utrecht a protest of thousands passed (mostly) peacefully.

Eight protesters were in custody in Berlin on Monday after a rally by Turks and Kurds turned violent, police said.
Eighteen policemen were injured when clashes erupted on the fringe of Sunday afternoon's protest in the Berlin suburb of Kreuzberg. A police spokeswoman said 15 protesters were detained, but seven were released after questioning. The spontaneous demonstration was called to express solidarity between Kurds and Turks, following the recent attacks by Iran-based Kurdish insurgents against targets in southern Turkey. Police said the relatively peaceful protest turned violent when Turkish nationalists joined in and clashed with supporters of the outlawed Kurdish workers Party PKK. "The conflict in the south of Turkey has spilled over to Berlin," one senior police officer told the Berlin radio station RBB. Nearly 80 people have died in fighting between the PKK and the Turkish military in the past week, amid rising speculation of a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq to root out PKK militants based there. The PKK is seeking wide-ranging autonomy for the predominantly Kurdish provinces in the south of Turkey.


Thousands of Turks demonstrated in Utrecht on Sunday afternoon. In a peaceful protest they called for "one unified Turkey."

The police estimate there were 5,000 to 7,000 people at the demonstration.

The organiser, Turkish-Dutch student association Erkin, says the demonstration was not aimed at Kurds, but at the violence committed by the Kurdish PKK.

"Kurds are our brothers," was one of the slogans at the demonstration.

The Turkish demonstrators came from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, according to the organisation. Though two windows and a bus shelter were smashed, there were no other incidents.

There was some commotion after the demonstration. A number of young people kicked some windows and wanted to start throwing stones, but police managed to get the situation under control. Two instigators were taken in and the situation was calm after that.

Source: Expatica 1, 2 (English)

See also: Turkish/Kurdish protests


About 200 Turkish youths attacked Kurdish establishments in Berlin late on Sunday, injuring 18 police officers who tried to contain the group, German police said on Monday.

The incident occurred after about 1,200 Turks assembled for a peaceful demonstration against the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), police said.

After the demonstration about 200 people crossed into the Kreuzberg district, where they attacked a Kurdish mosque and shattered the windows of a snack shop, police said.

Source: Reuters (English)

See also: Turkish-Iraq conflict spills over (Spiegel Online, English)

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