Turkey Condemns Germany for Permitting ‘PKK Rally’

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has condemned Germany for permitting alleged outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) supporters to march in the city of Frankfurt.

The ministry said it was “thought-provoking” that Germany, which recognizes the PKK as a terrorist group, allowed alleged sympathizers of the group to use PKK symbols and jailed head Abdullah Öcalan’s posters during the march.

“We condemn this insincere attitude,” the ministry said, adding that Germany’s envoy in Ankara had been informed about the discomfort regarding the issue.

German officials permitted the march on March 18 in Frankfurt to celebrate the spring holiday of Newroz, but Turkish authorities declared those marching were supporters of the PKK. The incident came just days after Turkish ministers and politicians were prevented from addressing Turkish voters in the country.

Around 9,000 people marched in the central German city of Frankfurt with banned PKK posters and flags.
Marchers also carried banned posters and flags and shouted slogans against Turkey, even though the Interior Ministry on March 2 updated its list of prohibited PKK symbols to include the image of Öcalan.

In contrast, Salih Muslim, the head of Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD), also criticized Germany for banning Kurdish symbols during an address at the gathering.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s presidential spokesman, İbrahim Kalın, “strongly” condemned German authorities for allowing the Newroz march in the city of Frankfurt.

Kalın said it was “not possible for German authorities to claim that Turkey’s elected representatives’ meeting with their citizens is dangerous as they treat terrorists as legitimate actors.”

“It is clear support for terrorism,” Kalın said. “Those, who try to explain this hostile attitude with freedom of expression and assembly should act seriously.”

In light of the march in Frankfurt, the presidential aide said some European countries were “trying to interfere in the referendum that will take place on April 16 in Turkey and were favoring a ‘no’ vote.”

“We once again remind European countries that Europe will not decide in April 16; the Turkish nation will,” he added.

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