Turkish counter-demonstrators light fireworks and cause trouble at planned Kurdish protest in Rotterdam

Yesterday, dozens of people were arrested at a Kurdish protest against the Turkish invasion of northern Syria. The protest got out of control when Turkish counter-protestors unexpectedly arrived at the Kurdish protests which had a nice protest-permit and everything.

At the protest yesterday in Rotterdam, dozens of Kurds and Dutch sympathizers protested against the recent Turkish invasion of northern Syria. Kurdish forces were controlling the area, with an American presence, since they bought Isis under control. Almost two weeks ago, Trump handed over control of the region to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Following this, Turkish forces and their jihadi-proxies invaded the area, since then we’ve seen awful images coming from the area.

Kurds demanded economic sanctions against Turkey

At the protest, the Kurdish demonstrators waved banners and shouted slogans like “Erdoğan, terrorist!” from 7pm onwards. They did this in the area assigned to them by the municipality. They were demanding a no-fly zone over Turkey, and economic sanctions, along with other measures from Europe following the Turkish invasion and attack on the Kurds in northern Syria.

Turkish counter-demonstrators arrived

The protest went according to plan until the arrival of Turkish counter-protestors. While the Kurdish demonstrators did have a permit to hold the protest, the Turkish demonstrators did not, and the police did not expect their arrival. Fights broke out pretty quickly and the Turkish protestors also acted out of control by lighting fireworks, and refusing to stay in the section assigned to counter demonstrators.

Police officers injured

Several fights broke out, and the police used force to shut down the protest. The police  made the decision to end the protest in consultation with the mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb. The police escorted demonstrators back to their vehicles, and by 9:30pm the streets were quiet again. A number of police officers were injured at the protest, with one coming away with a broken wrist.

Further protests to be expected

Kurdish protests will also take place in other cities, including Arnhem, Amsterdam and The Hague this week. The Kurds believe that the Netherlands and the European Union are being held hostage by Turkey, which threatens to let all the refugees from Syria that currently live in Turkey through to Europe, if countermeasures against their invasion of northern Syria are taken by the EU.

Will one of these protests be taking place in your city? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature image: Source – twitter/politie_rdam

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.


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