Pro-PKK sympathizers disrupt order in European cities

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published

The PKK terrorist organization's sympathizers continue to attack Turkish communities in Europe by vandalizing buildings with pro-PKK graffiti, launching verbal attacks and disrupting public order.

On Sunday, PKK supporters attacked the building of a Turkish nongovernmental organization (NGO), the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD), in the Swedish capital Stockholm and painted pro-PKK slogans on the building wall.

The initial police report revealed that the attackers wrote slogans supporting not only the PKK, but also its Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), scrawling words like "Biji YPG" (Long Live the YPG), "Apo," "PYD," "PKK" and "Afrin."

Serhat Fırat Baran, head of the UETD's Stockholm branch, told Anadolu Agency (AA) the incident took place ahead of an event that was to be held on Sunday in support of Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern Afrin region.

Baran said the terror group's supporters aimed to stop the event and added, "They are trying to scare and intimidate us and other Turkish NGOs, but we have organized the program with the support of all of the Turkish NGOs."

On Saturday, another attack occurred in the Dutch city of Hague when four masked men attacked the building of the Azerbaijan-Turkish Culture Association. Locals at a nearby cafe witnessed the incident, which took place at around 2:30 a.m. local time, and ran to the association's building to help, but the attackers had fled the site, İlhan Aşkın, the head of the association, told AA.

Aşkın said the footage from cameras installed on the building and the neighboring cafe showed four people trying to break the windows with rocks. He asserted that such incidents will not disturb the peace of Turkish people in the Netherlands and added, "We will continue to serve the way we always do." Local authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.

Pro-PKK rallies affect

German economic activity

PKK supporters in European countries, primarily in Germany, attacked a total of six mosques last week. The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it is still active, with nearly 14,000 followers among the country's Kurdish immigrant population.

Supporters of the PKK have organized demonstrations in various German cities to protest Turkey's ongoing military Operation Olive Branch against the terrorist group in northwest Syria.

The continuation of the activities of the PKK sympathizers in German cities, despite the ban, also reportedly affects the economic activities of business owners at the sites of rallies and demonstrations.

According to the German newspaper Express in North Rhine-Westphalia, the PKK rally held Saturday cost the city of Cologne millions of euros as it negatively affected normal shopping activity.

According to the report penned by Philipp J. Meckert, shopping decreased by 25 percent in city as shoppers hesitated to go out due to the PKK rally, which the German police intervened after protesters insisted on carrying banned symbols of the terrorist organization. Police initially allowed the rally, but a few hours later decided to intervene after many protesters insisted on carrying banned posters and flags of the terrorist group. A number of protesters were briefly detained after they threw stones and bottles at police.

Meckert also drew attention to public concerns over how long the rallies will continue.

Meanwhile, supporters of the PKK terrorist group stormed a news conference held by a German government spokesman yesterday in the latest instance of radical and violent protests by the group.

Five demonstrators carrying banners of the terrorist group entered the conference hall of a Berlin media center after Steffen Seibert, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, arrived for Monday's regular press briefing.

The protesters shouted slogans opposing Turkey's ongoing military operation against terrorist PYD/PKK targets in northwestern Syria and called on Berlin to stop arms sales to Germany's NATO partner Turkey.

The PYD/PKK sympathizers vacated the conference hall after a security guard came and asked them to leave.

Turkey has long called on German authorities to take more serious measures against the activities of the PKK, the PYD and the YPG in the country.

The terrorist group's followers intensified their attacks after Turkey launched an operation on the Syrian city of Afrin to clear terrorist elements from its borders.

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