From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Monday, January 29, 2018
GERMAN police broke up a tens of thousands-strong pro-Kurdish rally in Cologne yesterday after participants refused to take down flags and symbols of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Demonstrators came to the city from all over Germany to protest against Turkey’s invasion of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.
“The protest march has been stopped in order to remove all forbidden banners”, the North Rhine-Westphalia state police tweeted.
Despite repeated demands from police, many marchers continued waving flags bearing the image of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is imprisoned in Turkey.
Two people who distributed flags were detained, according to the DPA news agency.
There were scuffles outside the city’s train station between demonstrators and police after the march was broken up, with police firing tear gas.
The PKK, which has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy within Turkey for decades, was designated a terror group by the US and European Union at Ankara’s behest.
Hostilities between the Turkish state and PKK fighters resumed in 2015 after a ceasefire collapsed in the the wake of government complicity with Islamic State (Isis) attacks on Kurds.
They urged French and other Western governments to take a tougher stand against the Turkish campaign.
Paris has urged Turkey to use restraint, but protesters decried that as insufficient.