Kurds march in Strasbourg, Paris against Turkey’s Syria offensive

Greece-domiciled Kurds demonstrate in Thessaloniki against the Turkish invasion of the North Syrian province of Afrin. Similar demonstrations took place in the French cities of Strasbourg and Paris. (AFP)
Updated 03 February 2018
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Kurds march in Strasbourg, Paris against Turkey’s Syria offensive

Strasbourg: Thousands of Kurds protested on Saturday outside the Council of Europe in Strasbourg over Turkey’s offensive against a Kurdish militia in northwestern Syria.
On January 20, Ankara launched a campaign in Afrin against the Kurdish militia of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), described as a terror group by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, but allied with the United States in the fight against the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).
According to the organizers, 7,000 demonstrators marched in Strasbourg holding placards bearing slogans such as “Erdogan assassin.” Police said there were 1,600 protesters.
Shouting “Erdogan, dictator” and “silence kills,” the demonstrators — some of whom came by coach from the Netherlands, Austria and Germany — went to the Council of Europe before reaching Strasbourg’s city center, an AFP journalist saw.
Signs and banners included portraits of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who has been detained since 1999 on Imrali Prison Island off Istanbul.
“We want to sound the alarm because the Kurds in Afrin have fought against the Islamic State and are being massacred today. The silence of the European leaders is deadly,” Suleyman Akguc, a protester, told AFP.
Meanwhile in Paris, police estimated 2,100 protesters marched on Saturday afternoon from the Gare de l’Est toward the Place de la Republique.
They displayed banners that read: “Defend Afrin = defend the women’s revolution” and “Erdogan’s Turkish fascism will be buried in Afrin.”


Polish PM cancels Israel visit amid new Holocaust tensions

Updated 17 February 2019
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Polish PM cancels Israel visit amid new Holocaust tensions

  • Netanyahu made an off-hand comment last week during a conference in Warsaw that “Poles cooperated with the Nazis”

WARSAW: A Polish government official says Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will not attend a meeting in Israel starting Monday amid new tensions between the two countries over how to remember Polish behavior during the Holocaust.
Michal Dworczyk, who heads Morawiecki’s chancellery, announced the change of plans on Sunday.
Netanyahu made an off-hand comment last week during a Middle East conference in Warsaw that “Poles cooperated with the Nazis” — wording suggesting some Poles during the German occupation of Poland participated in killing Jews.
He was initially quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying “the Poles,” which could be taken as blaming the entire Polish nation.
Both Netanyahu’s office and the newspaper say he was misquoted in an editing error, but the Polish government said it was not satisfied.