Pro-Kurdish demonstrators staged protests against Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria on Sunday, scuffling with Turks and German police at Duesseldorf airport, while in Britain they temporarily closed two train stations, authorities said.
In a statement on Facebook, the group Friends of Kurdistan Manchester said the protest there was part of an international day of action to highlight events in Afrin, with a similar protest held at Düsseldorf airport, the Guardian reported.
Several people in Germany were injured when police used pepper spray against some demonstrators opposed to Turkey’s ongoing military operation “Olive Branch” against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s Afrin region.
Kurds and supporters in #Cambridge block traffic to protest UK support for Turkey-ISIS war on Afrin. Almost a million civilians at risk in Afrin city, Turkey/ISIS/Al-Qaeda just 1km away #SaveAfrin pic.twitter.com/m2KvLkjO7C
— Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign (@KurdsCampaign) March 11, 2018
The unannounced rally of about 150 people – one of several Kurdish demonstrations in Germany at the weekend – turned rowdy and led to “a number of people suffering injuries”, federal police told AFP.
Images on social media showed the protesters holding a banner that read “Afrin is becoming our Vietnam – We will defeat fascism”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “purge” Kurdish militia from the town of Afrin as his forces and allied Syrian rebels advanced to within a few kilometres.
In Britain on Sunday, flag-waving pro-Kurdish protesters forced the closure of Manchester Piccadilly train station and King’s Cross station in London.
In the capital, British police massed at the station entrance to prevent the crowd marching on to the concourse or platforms, causing service interruptions.
Meanwhile in Manchester, scores of demonstrators made it onto the tracks, closing the station for several hours, which led to trains being halted and impacting travellers across the country.
The group, who carried signs reading “stop Turkey from helping ISIS terrorists”, walked on to rail lines at about 1pm local time on Sunday, preventing trains from entering and leaving the station, the Guardian reported. It was reopened at about 4pm, with services remaining disrupted.
Superintendent Mark Cleland of the British Transport Police said: “Those involved in this afternoon’s incident will be subject to intense investigation with a view to arrest and prosecution”.