Protesters gather in Berlin to protest Turkish government’s treatment of Kurdish people

On January 6th, people gathered in Berlin to protest against the Turkish government’s treatment of the Kurdish people. The demonstration was held in response to the recent shooting in Paris, in which three Kurdish activists were killed, and three others were injured.

The protesters, many of whom were Kurdish, held placards and banners calling for an end to the persecution and discrimination faced by Kurds in Turkey. They also called on the international community to recognize the Kurdish people’s rights and stand in solidarity with them.

The Turkish government has a long history of denying the rights and existence of the Kurdish people within its borders. This has included denying them the right to education in their language and violently suppressing uprisings and protests. In addition, the Kurdish language and culture have been systematically suppressed, with Turkish authorities going so far as to change the names of Kurdish cities and towns to Turkish ones.

A protest took place in Berlin at Hermannplatz on January 6, 2023, in memory of the three Kurdish activists Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan, and Leyla Saylemez – who were killed by the Turkish intelligence service on January 9, 2013, in Paris. The protesters in Berlin were also there to show their support for the victims of the recent attacks in Paris on December 23, when a man fired several shots outside a Kurdish community center and a nearby hair salon, killing three people and injuring three others. Five of the victims were Turkish citizens, and all of them were Kurdish activists, according to the CDK-F. The group has labeled the attack a “terrorist attack,” claiming that it resulted from numerous threats from Turkey, which has long been combating Kurdish independence efforts led by the PKK and other Kurdish organizations. However, French investigators have said the attack was motivated by racism, with the alleged perpetrator admitting to a “pathological hatred of foreigners.” The 69-year-old French man was in custody at the time of the attack and had previously attacked migrants with a saber in a Paris camp, injuring two people and cutting several tents.

In recent years, the situation of Kurds in Turkey has only worsened. The Turkish government has engaged in military operations against Kurdish militias in Syria, leading to the displacement of thousands of Kurds and the destruction of entire towns and villages. There have also been widespread arrests and persecution of Kurdish politicians and activists, with many imprisoned on trumped-up charges.

The Kurdish people have faced and continue to face significant persecution and discrimination at the hands of the Turkish government and society. The international community must stand in solidarity with the Kurds, call for an end to these abuses, and recognize their rights. The events of 2013, in which Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan, and Leyla Şaylemez were murdered, serve as a reminder of the dangers that Kurdish activists face and the need for justice for these and other crimes committed against the Kurdish people.

The shooting in Paris, believed to have been motivated by the Turkish government’s efforts to suppress Kurdish independence movements, has brought attention to the ongoing persecution and violence faced by Kurds in Turkey and elsewhere. The international community must stand in solidarity with the Kurdish people and demand an end to these attacks and the recognition of Kurdish rights.

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