Protest Rallies in Germany Against Turkish Airstrikes

Protest Rallies in Germany Against Turkish Airstrikes Protest Rallies in Germany Against Turkish Airstrikes

Several thousand people marched Saturday through the western German city of Cologne in protest at continued Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish forces.

Some 5,000 demonstrators gathered in the city center, police said, with organizers hoping that more of the region’s substantial Kurdish and Turkish populations would join them later. Another smaller protest was held in Brussels, DW reported.

The rallies were called by an alliance of pro-Kurdish groups to say “No to the war,” after the two weeks of Turkish air raids on Kurdish targets, mostly in northern Iraq.

At least 20 members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in attacks blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

German Foreign Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the Rheinische Post daily on Saturday it “would be regrettable that Turkey’s national peace process should go to the wall because of regional conflicts in the Middle East.”

 AKP Offices Attacked

Unidentified assailants carried out an armed attack on the ruling Justice and Development Party’s Istanbul headquarters in Beyoglu district late Saturday, lightly injuring one person, party sources said.

The attackers fled the scene after the special operations team responded immediately, it was reported. Security forces launched an investigation after the attack and a suspect was detained.

AKP and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu condemned the attack, saying those responsible would be brought to account.

AKP Provincial head Selim Temurci said the injured person, who was a visitor, has been released from hospital after being treated for a gunshot wound on their arm.

 Demirtas Calls for Ceasefire

The leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party urged peace talks between the government and PKK forces.

HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas said the Turkish government must halt its security operations and revive a peace process started with jailed PKK founder and leader Abdullah Ocalan in 2012.

“We are calling on both sides. PKK should immediately remove their hands from the trigger, declaring that it would comply with the terms of the reinforced ceasefire … The government should immediately set the military operation option aside, declaring that it is ready for negotiations and dialogue.”