Düsseldorf – a Kurdish November 4 protest with some 20,000 participants is turning into major clashes with police, as participants insist on displaying flags of the banned organization PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party), violating German law. Apparently, the police have now had to bring in anti-riot water cannon vehicles.
An original translation from Die Welt:
Kurdish Demonstration Escalates
Police Use Pepper Spray
November 4, 2017, 2:19 PM CET
Several thousand Kurds congregated in Düsseldorf at a demonstration for releasing the captive PKK chief Abdullah Öcalan. They displayed his portraits, which is illegal. Clashes ensued.
The Kurdish demonstration in Düsseldorf on Saturday saw clashes with the police, after numerous participants displayed illegal flags with the portrait of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. The officers were attacked with flagpoles, and upon that had to use pepper spray, said a police spokesman. The police had stopped the two protest marches, as they were displaying the illegal flags.
A photo reporter confirms that the officers repeatedly asked over loudspeakers to roll up the illegal flags, to no avail. Several protesters were taken into initial custody.
The protest was organized by an alliance of several groups, including organizations like NAV-DEM (Kurdisches Democratic Society Centre), who are close to the banned Turkish Workers’ Party PKK.
The participants came with busses from all across Europe, a speaker of the event said. They were expecting 25,000 participants.
Friday evening, the Superior District Court North Rhine Westphalia had, in an express hearing, explicitly confirmed the established jurisdiction that demonstrations may not display flags and banners with portraits of Öcalan (File.: 15 B 1371/17). The PKK is classified a terrorist organization in Germany, the European Union, and Turkey..
In mid September, a Kurdish festival organized by NAV-DEM caused dismay in Cologne. The German embassador in Ankara was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry.
The organizers of the demonstration in Düsseldorf demand the release of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who serves a life sentence in Turkey. The PKK is classified a terrorist organization in Germany, the European Union, and Turkey. As they are close to the PKK, the NAV-DEM is on the watch list of the Office For The Protection Of The Constitution in Germany.
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