Pro-Kurdish demonstrators clash with Turkish community in Germany

Pro-Kurdish demonstrators clash with Turkish community in Germany
2 min read
15 October, 2019
Hundreds of pro-Kurdish protesters have clashed with members of the Turkish community in Germany over Ankara's military offensive.
Pro-Kurdish demonstrators have marched against Turkey's military offensive in Germany. [Getty]

Pro-Kurdish demonstrators and members of the Turkish community clashed in Germany on Monday night over Ankara's military offensive in northeastern Syria, with at least five people injured.

Around 350 pro-Kurdish protesters were marching through the German city of Herne when they were "provoked with hand signals" by people drinking at a nearby kiosk, police said in a statement.

"Some of them stormed into the kiosk, attacked two people inside and injured them" as well as breaking a window, they added.

Although the demonstration continued, someone threw a bottle at the marchers from a Turkish-owned cafe as they passed.

"The reaction was very emotional and angry" as again several participants rushed into the cafe, breaking windows and furniture and injuring at least one person inside, as well as one of the police officers who intervened to stop the fighting.

Nevertheless, "the police were able to calm the situation" and the demonstration ended as planned when the marchers reached their destination in the centre.

Read more: Syria carved up, as regime forces enter Kurdish-held areas

Among the five people hurt was the organiser of the march, who was attacked when he tried to stop the violence.

Thousands of people, some shouting "Erdogan terrorist", have taken to the streets of Paris and other European cities in the past week in protest at the Turkish assault on Kurds in Syria.

Of the roughly 3 million people with Turkish nationality or roots living in Germany, around one million are Kurds.

Politicians regularly warn of tensions between the two communities, which have been stoked by Turkey's recently-launched offensive into Kurdish-controlled northeast Syria.

Beginning Wednesday, Turkish troops moved into the zone controlled by Kurdish militias which had helped a Western-led coalition fight so-called Islamic State (IS), but who Ankara accuses of terrorism.

Berlin, along with European allies like France, has condemned the offensive and stopped arms exports to Turkey.

Agencies contributed to this report.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab