Heightened Tensions Between Turks and Kurds in Netherlands

26 October 2011

 

Tensions between Turks and Kurds in the Netherlands have heightened since 19 October when 24 soldiers were killed by the Kurdish separatist movement PKK in southeast Turkey. During a demonstration against the PKK in Amsterdam protestors attempted to force entry to a Kurdish cultural center holding a memorial for victims of the recent earthquake; grafitti and an arson attempt have targeted a Turkish mosque in Arnhem. In response to messages circulating online calling Turks to come to Amsterdam to protest, Turkish and Kurdish organizations as well as the municipality and the police published a press release against demonstrations, for fear of possible riots. An emergency decree banned gathering in the Museumplein, proposed location for the demonstration, from 14:00-24:00 on 26 October. On 27 October Kurdish organizations asked authorities for protection from “aggression by Turkish rioters”.