Thousands of Turks took to the streets of Germany and Belgium on Sunday to protest against terrorism.
In Ghent, some marchers carried Turkish and Belgian flags and signs condemning the PKK, which been waging a terrorist campaign in southeast Turkey that has killed more than 40,000 people since the 1980s.
Meanwhile, in seven cities across Germany some demonstrations were marred by violence.
In Frankfurt, PKK supporters held a parallel protest and three people were injured as fighting broke out.
Hundreds of Turks gathered in Cologne to march towards the city’s iconic cathedral. Police arrested 15 pro-PKK demonstrators as Turkish marchers were attacked with bottles, smoke bombs and stun grenades.
Around 2,000 gathered in Hanover, many chanting slogans against PKK terrorism. “There is no Turkish or Kurdish problem in Turkey,” organizer Haluk Tosun said. “We condemn the organizations and countries that support terror.”
Semih Baykal, deputy president of a Belgian Turkish association, said the march in Ghent was organized to underline the divide between Islam and terrorism.
“Following the attacks in Brussels, Belgians started to identify terror with Islam and we wanted to put an end to this,” he told Anadolu Agency.
The March 22 attacks on Brussels’ airport and a metro station killed 32 people and were claimed by Daesh.
Baykal said most of the victims of terrorism over the last 15 years had been Muslims.
“It is not fair to tar terror and Islam with the same brush,” he said. “Due to the recent Brussels attacks, I am afraid we are going to endure the same troubles the American Muslims went through post-Sept. 11.”
Demonstrator Ayse Topdemir said she decided to attend the march in condemnation of terrorism. “I am both a Turkish and a Belgian citizen,” she said. “I wish no terrorism either here or in my homeland. That’s why I came here today to support this anti-terrorism event.”