German authorities have banned a pro-PKK German group's demonstration that was planned to protest President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, ahead of his visit to the country at the end of the month.
The group, named Kurdish Community of Germany (Kurdische Gemeinde Deutschland), announced through a statement yesterday that German police banned their protest that was scheduled to be organized in Berlin at the end of the month. The group said authorities had referred to preparations for Oct. 3 celebrations of the unification of West and East Germany as the reason behind their decision. The statement said the scheduled protest was previously authorized.
Erdoğan will visit Germany on Sept. 28-29. During his visit, the Turkish president is expected to address the Turkish Diaspora in Germany and meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The group claims to represent Germany's Kurdish community but instead acts as a subgroup of the terrorist PKK. It has demanded Germany removes the PKK from its list of terrorist organizations.
Following the ban, the group called for their supporters to participate in other protests in Berlin and C
ologne, instead of the one in Brandenburg Gate.
Despite its international status as a terrorist organization, the PKK has enjoyed relative freedom in European cities and has a particularly strong presence in Germany. PKK supporters have been allowed to hold rallies, recruit militants and collect funds in Germany.
According to a 2017-report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), there are 14,500 PKK sympathizers in Germany, with an increase of 500 since 2016. "The PKK continues to be the largest terrorist group in Germany in terms of a number of members and power," the report suggests.
The report also reveals that the terrorist group collected 25 million euros in Europe, including 14 million euros in Germany. The BfV report added that many PKK-linked organizations and foundations have changed their name to make positive impressions in the recent years.
Formed in 1978, the PKK terrorist group has fought a long separatist battle against the Turkish state. Its terror campaign has killed more than 40,000 people, including women and children. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.
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