BERLIN (AA) - German police on Saturday intervened at a rally of PYD/PKK supporters in northwestern city of Cologne, after protestors insisted on carrying banned symbols of the terrorist organization.
The demonstrators gathered in Cologne’s Ebertplatz square for the rally organized by a PKK-linked local organization to protest Turkey’s ongoing Operation Olive Branch against terrorist targets in northwestern Syria.
The police initially allowed the rally, but a few hours later decided to intervene, after many protestors insisted on carrying banned posters and flags of the terrorist group PKK, which is outlawed in Germany.
A number of protestors were briefly detained, after they threw stones and bottles on police officers.
While PKK was banned in 1993 in Germany, the terrorist group is still active in the country, and carries out significant propaganda, recruitment, and fund-raising activities.
The group has nearly 14,000 followers among Germany’s Kurdish immigrant population, according to the German domestic intelligence agency BfV.
Turkey has long called on German authorities to take more serious measures against the activities of PKK and its Syrian branch PYD and YPG in the country.
- Turkish community backs operation
Meanwhile, Turkish Community of Berlin (TGB), a local association founded by Turkish immigrants, has announced its support for Turkey’s military offensive against the terrorists in Afrin region of Syria.
“No country can remain indifferent to terrorist attacks targeting its territory,” TGB’s Chairman Selcuk Demirci told reporters on Saturday.
He slammed European politicians, who opposed Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch, and said their stance was “hypocritical”.
Demirci also called on Turkish community members to remain calm amid potential provocations by the supporters of the PYD/PKK.
Sympathizers of the terrorist group attacked five mosques run by Turkish-Muslim associations since Turkey began a military operation in northwestern Syria.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The Turkish military said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and "utmost importance" is being given to not harm any civilians.