About 25,000 people took part in a rally in Düsseldorf on Saturday to protest against Turkey’s ground incursion against Kurdish militants in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and its alleged use of chemical weapons, ANF reported.
Demonstrations were set to be held in Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium on Saturday, but the main rally took place in the German city of Düsseldorf.
Most of the demonstrators wore white hazmat suits as a denunciation of chemical weapons, and displayed banners with the images of 17 Kurdish fighters killed in the latest alleged chemical attacks by the Turkish armed forces.
The Democratic Kurdistan Community Congress in Europe (KCDK-E) declared 12 November a “national strike day against chemical weapons use” to protest against the resounding silence of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the European Union (EU), the United Nations, NATO and other international powers in the face of the allegations.
Westfälische Nachrichten, a German daily newsletter, reported that the demonstration and the subsequent rally in the Rheinpark passed peacefully.
A prominent daily newspaper, Die Zeit, reported on the demonstration and the allegations of Turkey’s use of chemical weapons.
Düsseldorf police spokesperson Marcel Fiebig told Associated Press that “several thousand” people took part in the demonstration organised by Kon-Med, a German-based association of Kurdish groups.
Zübeyde Zümrüt from Kon-Med said: “The federal government supports the regime in Ankara politically, financially and also militarily. We believe that if the federal government remains inactive in the face of these crimes, it is jointly responsible for the crimes in Kurdistan.”
An armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), earlier in October released footage said to show HPG fighters who had been exposed to chemical weapons.
While no conclusive evidence has been made public, there is enough evidence to warrant an extensive investigation into the matter, Jan Van Aken from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) told Medyanews, in an October interview.
However, Dr Şebnem Korur Fincancı, a forensic specialist and Chair of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), was arrested shortly after this, on 26 October, and sent to prison over her remarks in a live broadcast that the allegations necessitated an independent investigation.
Turkey denies all accusations.