Turkey condemns Germany for allowing Kurdish march

Kurdish protesters demonstrate on their way to the Kurdish spring festival Newroz with posters reading "No to dictatorship" in the city center of Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on March 18, 2017. Some 30,000 demonstrators, who police said were mainly of Kurdish origin, rallied in Frankfurt on March 18 calling for "democracy in Turkey" and "freedom for Kurdistan". / AFP PHOTO / dpa / Boris Roessler / Germany OUT

Amid tension between Germany and Turkey over a ban on referendum campaign rallies held by Turkish ministers, Ankara has condemned Berlin for allowing a march of Kurds sympathetic to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Frankfurt.

The Nevruz [spring festival] celebration, organized on Saturday by the German Democratic Kurdish Society Center with the slogan “No to dictatorship, yes to democracy and freedom” in Frankfurt, was attended by a crowd of more than 30,000, Deutsche Welle reported.

During the celebrations Kurds carried photos of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and symbols of the PKK, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the People’s Defense Units (YPG).

“Claiming that a meeting of elected representatives of the Turkish nation with our citizens is dangerous but treating terrorists as legitimate actors is not explainable. They all clearly support terrorism,” said İbrahim Kalın, spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a statement on Saturday.

More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

Kalın also claimed that the Frankfurt march was further evidence of European efforts to interfere in an April 16 referendum in Turkey and support the “no” vote.

Turkish politicians have been traveling to Europe to campaign among expatriates for the referendum, which will greatly expand President Erdoğan’s powers.

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium have recently cancelled rallies, leading to crises between Turkey and European countries.

Three more events featuring ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Mehdi Eker in Germany were cancelled on Saturday.

The campaign events of Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu were cancelled in Germany for similar reasons.

Millions of Turkish citizens who are eligible to vote in Turkish elections live across all of Europe.

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  1. Relations Turkey with Greece and Armenia are spoiled by. She will not be able to help the Tatars return to the Crimea. This is used by the Kremlin invaders. Mr. Erdoğan should pay more attention to foreign policy.

  2. The Kurdish march in Frankfurt was to celebrate Newruz festivities and had nothing to do with terrorism as Turkey claims.
    It is an openly accepted truth that designating PKK as a terror group was to please Turkey. A recent ruling by a Belgium court accepted the Kurdish struggle for statehood as an armed liberation war and ordered the release of detainees sympathetic to the PKK. It is obvious to those in the know that the terrorist designation is more of a political decision that can’t be supported by facts on the ground. Therefore, it is a matter of time before PKK is removed from terrorist list. Turkish insistence on painting Kurdish struggle as terrorism lowers the credibility of the present Government as incapable of solving a simple domestic issue peacefully. Therefore, they feel obligated to interfere.