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CORRECTION Kurdish New Year festivities may turn violent, warn German officials

Europe
16.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Hanover, Germany (dpa) - Weekend celebrations of the Kurdish New Year in the German city of Hanover could turn violent, warn German domestic intelligence agencies.

The Nauroz event is expected to bring together thousands of Kurds on Saturday. It was initially banned by police, due to suspicions that attendees may include supporters of the banned Kurdistan Workers‘ Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey.

But, on Wednesday, a court reversed the ban, saying that the right to freedom of assembly in Germany outweighed police concerns.

However, members of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution have expressed concern at the potential increase in violent clashes between Kurds and Turks.

"We can not rule out an escalation in the incidents, especially as there has been no solution to the conflict in Turkey," said the head of domestic intelligence for the state of Lower Saxony, Maren Brandenburger in a report published in the Hannoverische Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on Friday.

The event takes place every year in Hanover, but a group of individuals told German authorities that this year‘s event would also include a protest against Turkey‘s military operation in the northern Syrian region of Afrin, which is aimed at dislodging a Syrian Kurdish militia from the Turkish border.

Germany has the world‘s biggest Turkish diaspora community. There are roughly 3 million people of Turkish descent, and many of them are Kurds.

Nauroz refers to the traditional New Year‘s celebration in many parts of Central Asia. It is usually marked on March 21, which falls on this coming Wednesday.

 

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