Berlin police have announced that they will not intervene in the May Day demonstrations by the PKK terrorist group followers, which is scheduled for today, in order to "avoid escalation" even if banned flags and symbols are shown.
PKK sympathizers in Germany are organizing a demonstration today in Berlin with reference to Labor Day on May 1. The radical leftist Antifa movement previously announced their support for the PKK demonstration. Despite PKK flags being banned previously by the German authorities, the followers of the group often carry flags bearing the image of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in rallies organized across the country, although that image too has been recently banned.The Berlin police said it justified its decision to inaction with effort to "avoid escalation" in an illegal demonstration.
The German police on Friday, however, warned against the use of banned flags and posters of the PKK terrorist organization during May 1 International Workers' Day. In a statement, the police in Berlin said they were aware of recent calls by several German political groups to carry PKK flags and symbols during a rally in the capital. Despite previous announcements, the Berlin police changed their attitude yesterday.
Ankara's relations with Berlin have been strained on several occasions due to PKK demonstrations and the presence of the terrorist organization's seniors in the country, which Ankara labels as tolerance to terrorism.
Last year, Frankfurt police did not intervene in a PKK demonstration for the same reason, despite banned flags and symbols being shown. Following Ankara's reaction over the rally that took place in May, a Frankfurt police spokesman said even though banned banners and flags were carried by protesters, they did not intervene during the demonstration "in order to avoid escalation."
The spokesman said some protesters at the rally in Frankfurt will face legal action after reports that the image of Öcalan was displayed at the demonstration.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned German chargé d'affaires Robert Dolger in the capital Ankara following reports that a former co-leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), affiliated to the PKK terror group, was planning to address an event in Germany, according to a diplomatic source.
Dolger was told about Turkey's discomfort over the event planned by the terrorist organization on May 19 in the German town of Ludwigshafen where Salih Muslum is expected to speak, the source, who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
Since the beginning of 2018, PKK-affiliated groups have also increased their attacks on the Turkish community after Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch against the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), in northwestern Syria's Afrin province. The PKK-affiliated groups and far-left organizations claimed responsibility for more than two dozen attacks that targeted Turkish mosques, associations and shops in various cities, including Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Aachen.
Turkey has long criticized the German authorities for tolerating PKK activities in the country and pressured Berlin to take stricter measures against the propaganda, recruitment and fundraising activities of the group. The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years and has been responsible for the death of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.