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Demonstration in Düsseldorf
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Radike

Pro-Kurdish rally turns violent in Düsseldorf

March 11, 2018

Scuffles occurred at Düsseldorf airport between protesters at opposing rallies over Turkey's Afrin offensive. Pro-Kurdish demonstrations have also taken place elsewhere in Germany over the weekend.


Pro-Kurdish protesters demonstrating against Turkey's military offensive in the Kurdish-led Afrin region in northern Syria scuffled with Turks and German police at the airport of the western city of Düsseldorf on Sunday, authorities said.

It remains unclear whether people were injured in the clashes, which involved some 200 protesters from two different groups, police said.

One protest was called to oppose Turkey's ongoing assault on Afrin, while supporters of the Turkish action staged a counterdemonstration. The protests were both unregistered.

The airport said travelers were not disrupted by the scuffles, with only a small section of the departures terminal affected.

Read more: Turkey's military offensive against Kurdish-held Afrin: What you need to know 

Police taking away a man
Several arrests were made at the ralliesImage: picture-alliance/dpa/M.Kusch

Protesting Russian participation

Pro-Kurdish demonstrations have also taken place elsewhere in Germany this weekend.

Some 200 people marched through the capital, Berlin, on Sunday, waving red, white and green Kurdish flags. Some demonstrators were reported by DPA news agency to have thrown rocks at a building after a man waved a Turkish flag from there.

Riot police were said to have led several men away, but there were no official reports of arrests or injuries.

In the northern city of Hamburg, some 400 protesters marched to the Russian and Turkish consulates general late on Saturday. A police spokesman said some threw rocks at the buildings, causing minor damage.

Demonstrators were protesting against Russian participation in the Afrin offensive.

Other, peaceful, rallies were reported on Saturday in Kiel, Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern.

Read more: What foreign powers want from the Syrian war

Controversial offensive

Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels have now moved to within a few hundred meters of the city of Afrin, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

People fleeing from Afrin
The situation is desperate for many in AfrinImage: Reuters/K. Ashawi

Turkish armed forces launched the offensive on January 20, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatening to "purge" a Kurdish militia from the town.

Ankara considers the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) a terrorist group linked with the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging a decades-long rebellion in Turkey.

 tj/sms (dpa, AFP)

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