German officials on alert over PKK violence in Nevruz event

DAILY SABAH WITH DPA
ISTANBUL
Published 16.03.2018 18:39
Updated 17.03.2018 11:09
PKK supporters hold placards during a demonstration against Turkey on March 11, 2018 at the airport in Duesseldorf. (AFP Photo)
PKK supporters hold placards during a demonstration against Turkey on March 11, 2018 at the airport in Duesseldorf. (AFP Photo)

Weekend celebrations of Nevruz, a spring new year festival in the German city of Hannover could turn violent, warn German domestic intelligence agencies.

The Nevruz event is expected to be exploited by the terrorist group PKK tying it to Kurdish traditions. The celebrations in Turkey and several European cities in the past years have long been the ground for clashes between PKK supporters and security forces.

The was initially banned by German police, due to suspicions that attendees may include supporters of the banned PKK.

But, on Wednesday, a court reversed the ban, saying that the right to freedom of assembly in Germany outweighed police concerns.

However, members of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution have expressed concern at the potential increase in violent clashes.

"We can not rule out an escalation in the incidents, especially as there has been no solution to the conflict in Turkey," said Lower Saxony's constitutional court president, Maren Brandenburger in a report published in the Hannoverische Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on Friday.

The event takes place every year in Hannover, but a group of individuals told German authorities that this year's event would also include a protest against Turkey's Olive Branch Operation in the northern Syrian region of Afrin, which is aimed at dislodging PKK's Syrian affiliate the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from the Turkish border.

Newruz refers to the traditional New Year's celebration in many parts of Central Asia. It is usually marked on March 21, which falls on this coming Wednesday.

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