BERLIN: Thousands of people in the German city of Cologne demonstrated on Saturday against Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria.
City authorities said around 10,000 people took part in the marches organized by left-wing groups. Police were out in force amid concerns about possible violence but authorities said the event was largely peaceful.
Some demonstrators carried flags of the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which Turkey is trying to push back. Others carried placards with slogans such as “No deals with the AKP regime” — a reference to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party.
Germany is home to large Turkish and Kurdish communities, and tensions between them have turned violent in the past. Of the roughly 3 million people with Turkish nationality or roots living in Germany, around 1 million are Kurds.
“We are sitting on a powderkeg in Germany,” Turkish expert Burak Copur told ZDF broadcaster.
“The emotions here cannot be viewed in isolation from the political developments in Turkey, which are mirrored in Germany.”
German police are on high alert to ward off any new violence from protests over the Turkish offensive after clashes erupted on the sidelines of a rally in city of Herne.