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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Kurdish people in Ireland and Europe protest against Turkey's Syria offensive

Kurdish people in Dublin held a rally on O’Connell Street outside the GPO.

The Kurdish Community in Ireland and their supporters protest on Dublin's O'Connell Street
The Kurdish Community in Ireland and their supporters protest on Dublin's O'Connell Street
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE took to the streets of Dublin and other European cities today in protest at the Turkish assault on Kurds in Syria.

Kurdish people in Dublin held a rally on O’Connell Street, calling on Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney to use Ireland’s influence at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday. 

On Wednesday, Turkey began an air and ground offensive supporting Syrian rebels against the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units militia after US President Donald Trump ordered American troops to pull back from the border.

Ankara stepped up its assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria today, defying mounting threats of international sanctions.

Member of the Kurdish Irish community, Ahmad Dekki, told TheJournal.ie that they believe the next step is going to be a genocide by Turkish-backed militia.

He said that many of the community have family and friends in Syria who have told them of the ongoing atrocities on the ground and because of that “the community had to do something today.” 

“At least to raise their voice and make Irish society aware that something serious is going on.” 

Dekki said the community has sent a letter to Coveney asking him to acknowledge the “extinction” of the Kurdish people. 

We know the Irish state is not in a position to do anything by itself. But when EU members have to vote we want to make sure Simon Coveney knows what is exactly happening. Europe should be aware of this.

The Tánaiste has previously condemned Turkey’s use of force against Kurdish fighters who helped defeat the so-called Islamic State.

Officials from Coveney’s Department met with the Turkish Ambassador to Ireland yesterday and “reiterated Ireland’s deep concern at the unilateral military action by Turkey”. 

kurdish protest 456_90582395 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

kurdish protest 313_90582385 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Organisers said “more than 20,000 people” took part in the demonstration in Paris while pro-Kurdish protests were also held across Germany with more than 10,000 participants in Cologne, according to news agency DPA. 

Protesters marching under the Kurdish green, red and yellow flag waved placards reading “Trump = serial killer” or “the true leader of Daesh”, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

germany-kurds-protest People protest against the Turkish invasion in Kurdish territories in northern Syria in Cologne, Germany, Source: AP/PA Images

protest-against-invasion-of-syria-by-turkish-troops Demonstrators in Berlin protest against the Turkish military offensive in Northern Syria with a banner saying by Erdogan the accomplices are you. Source: DPA/PA Images

cyprus-kurds-protest The protesters in Nicosia, Cyprus chanted slogans condemning Turkey's military action and urged for the withdrawal of Turkish forces. Source: AP/PA Images

Scores of Kurds also marched through Cyprus’s capital Nicosia, with one protester holding up a banner that read: “Do not be an accomplice to the genocide of the Kurdish nation.”

Demonstrators also gathered in Sweden and Belgium and protests will later be held in the Greek capital Athens. 

“Turkey is trying to carry out an ethnic cleansing and reinforce jihadism… to make the West kneel. Since the beginning of the Turkish army invasion operation dormant Daesh cells have committed attacks,” Agit Polat, spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic Council in France, said in Paris. 

“At all costs, there must be concrete economic sanctions from the European Union and the United States vis-avis Turkey,” he added.

Polat also urged France to recall its ambassador to Turkey. 

Finland, Germany, Norway and The Netherlands have already announced that they are stopping arms exports to the country.

Additional reporting from AFP

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