Thousands in Germany demonstrate against Turkish incursion in Syria
Thousands of people in Cologne, Germany demonstrated on Saturday against Turkey's offensive in northern Syria targeting Kurdish forces, AP reported.
Approximately 10,000 people took part in the marches organised by pro-Kurdish left-wing groups, it said citing city authorities from the country’s fourth most populous city.
The protest took place amid concerns about possible violence following clashes in other German cities, AP said. However, authorities said the event was largely peaceful.
Pro-Kurdish demonstrators carried flags of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey sees as an existential threat due to its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and wants to clear its border of, AP said.
Some protesters carried posters reading "No deals with the AKP regime," in an apparent reference to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling party, it said.
Turkey on Thursday agreed to suspend military operations in northern Syria for five days in return for a U.S. pledge to facilitate a pullout by the YPG.
Of the roughly three million people with Turkish nationality or roots living in Germany, around one million are Kurds.
Hundreds of fighters and civilians have been killed and tens of thousands forced to flee in the offensive launched on Oct. 9.