PKK-affiliate PYD opens office in Paris as France extends state of emergency
by Merve Aydoğan
ANKARAMay 24, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Merve Aydoğan
May 24, 2016 12:00 am
The French government has allowed the outlawed PKK's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) to open an office in Paris under the name "Rojava democratic self-rule administration representative office." French parliament also recently confirmed a two-month extension of the state of emergency that has been in place since November's deadly terrorist attacks to cover the Euro 2016 football tournament and the Tour de France.
France has been the center of violence recently often due to controversial labor reforms proposed by the deeply unpopular government of President François Hollande. Over the past two months, some 350 members of the security forces have been injured and dozens of protesters detained during protests against the proposed labor reforms, which were forced through the lower house of parliament last week without a vote.
The move to allow the PYD to establish an office in Paris on Monday, however, has been criticized by Turkish officials. According to a PKK-affiliate Fırat news agency report, the opening ceremony on late Monday was expected to be attended by many PKK and PYD supporters. The PYD had said that the ceremony will also include latest updates from Syria. Ankara also considers the PYD and its armed People's Protection Units (YPG) to be branches of the PKK, which has waged a decades-long fight against the Turkish state and is recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the EU.Some have said the PYD office in Paris is there to unify and become the meeting point for all PKK and PYD supporters in France. The PYD also opened an office in Moscow, Stockholm and Berlin, which received strong criticism from the head of Parliament's Human Rights Commission, Mustafa Yeneroğlu, who said: "It is seriously concerning that the PKK's PYD wing has established open, legitimate action in Germany."