Thousands took part in a rally in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Saturday to protest against Turkey’s ongoing military campaign in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and its alleged use of chemical weapons.
The rally, staged as part of the ‘Defend Kurdistan’ campaign, was organised under the leadership of the Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe (TJK-E) and the European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E).
Families of Kurdish activists and fighters fallen in the struggle for freedom marched at the front, followed by demonstrators in hazmat suits, and performers of ‘stran’, traditional Kurdish mourning songs.
Representatives of Tamil political movements, Zapatistas and Yazidis also took part in the march.
Demonstrators carried flags of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and People’s Defence Units (YPG), and banners and placards reading, ‘Defend Kurdistan’, ‘NATO member Turkey uses chemical weapons in Kurdistan’, ‘Solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement’, ‘Stop Erdogan’s poison gas attacks’, ‘Defend Kurdistan against Turkish occupation and use of chemical weapons’ and ‘Those who remain silent about Kurdistan should not talk about Ukraine’.
There were a number of speakers, including Dr Michael Wilk, a German physician and author, who said that hundreds of civilians, including many children, have been killed in the Turkish attacks, and that Turkey aims to further occupy parts of Kurdistan.
“This is the terror of the Erdoğan regime,” he said.