France allows PKK supporters to stage rally

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PKK supporters stage a rally in Strasbourg, France, to demand the release of jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan on February 17, 2018. (Reuters) (Reuters)

PKK supporters from across Europe carry flags and pictures of the jailed leader of the outlawed group, under a strong police presence in French city of Strasbourg.

Thousands of PKK supporters marched through the French city of Strasbourg on Saturday to call for the release of Abdullah Ocalan and to protest against Turkey’s military offensive in Syria.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union designate the  PKK as a terrorist group.

There was a strong police presence at the rally, which police said attracted 11,000 people while organisers put the number at between 25,000-30,000.

Many of the demonstrators, who came from across Europe, were carrying flags and pictures of the jailed leader of the outlawed PKK.

PKK supporters in Strasbourg, France carried flags and portraits of jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan on February 17, 2018.
PKK supporters in Strasbourg, France carried flags and portraits of jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan on February 17, 2018. (Reuters)

The PKK has waged a bloody war against the Turkish state since more than three decades that has claimed thousands of lives.

Ocalan, the figurehead of the PKK’s deadly campaign, remains behind bars on a prison island off Istanbul.

Turkey on January 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defence rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria’s territorial integrity, it said.

Source: AFP
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