PKK sympathizers in the U.K.’s Leeds province spreading anti-Turkey propaganda attacked a Turkish student, Eren B., who was later hospitalized for injuries sustained during the assault.
“When I saw that they were spreading distorted facts about Turkey, I approached their booth and said ‘We [Turkey] don’t have any problem with Kurds. We are struggling against the PKK.’ After that, one of them shouted that ‘I am the PKK’ and called his friend, then hit my head when another one was clutching me,” the student said, adding that there were five assailants and that they also threw his phone to prevent him from recording a video of the incident.
Stressing that he reported the attack to the police, Eren B. said he will continue to defend Turkey against such activities.
While Turkey’s Ambassador to London Çınar Ergin expressed his support for the Turkish student and indicated they will closely follow the case, social media users launched the hashtag “PkkYpgTerrorinEngland,” referring to the PKK terrorist organization’s Syrian affiliate, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), to support Eren B.
Despite being recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.K and the EU, PKK sympathizers enjoy roaming comfortably in these countries as police forces often remain indifferent. Attacks have increased, especially after Ankara’s Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria in October to drive YPG militants out of the area due to national security concerns.
On Oct. 11, 300 PKK supporters stabbed two young Turks in Saint-Lambert square in Belgium’s Liege, while they also attacked a car owned by Turks in Norway’s capital Oslo, ignoring the presence of a baby in the vehicle at that time. After the incident, Norwegian security forces arrested seven supporters of the PKK terror group.
Also, in late October, PKK sympathizers in London attacked Şeyma Döğücü, the mayor of Istanbul’s Sancaktepe municipality, while she was attending a meeting of the International Municipality Association.
In Germany, on the other hand, PKK attacks on Turks, their property and mosques have become routine in recent years. Following the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in early 2018, PKK supporters attacked 13 mosques in Germany, including Yeşil Mosque, Eyüp Sultan Mosque, Sultan Alparslan Mosque and Ulu Mosque. All of the mosques are run by the German branch of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB).
The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it is still active, with nearly 14,000 followers among the country’s Kurdish immigrant population.