Supporters and sympathizers of the PKK terrorist group and its Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), held a demonstration in Cologne, Germany on Wednesday.
They marched through the city streets without facing any police intervention, even though the German government recognizes the PKK as a terrorist organization and last year banned its members from staging protests.
Violating the ban, the protesters carried PKK flags and posters of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the PKK terrorist group.
Last January, a similar event took place when hundreds of PKK sympathizers took to the streets of Cologne in protest of Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria.
The protest was organized by NAV-DEM, an association with close relations to the outlawed PKK, which is blacklisted by Ankara and its Western allies as a terrorist group.
The protest was declared illegal by the German police and was later dissolved after NAV-DEM members displayed PKK posters. After this action, PKK protests were banned in Germany and further planned protests were hindered.
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 followers committed 1,873 criminal offenses in Germany last year, according to annual statistics announced by the German Interior Ministry, an increase of more than 80% over the previous year, while violent offenses rose from 152 to 305.
Supporters of the PKK and its Syrian branch, the YPG, claimed responsibility last year for dozens of attacks on mosques, associations and other Turkish institutions in Germany to protest Turkey's counterterrorism operations in northwestern Syria.
Ankara has long criticized Berlin for not taking some serious measures against the PKK and its affiliates in Germany, which use the country as a platform for fundraising, recruitment and spreading propaganda.
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.
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