Two arrested after Dutch pro-Turkish demo

30th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Two people were arrested after police intervened Sunday to keep pro-Turkish demonstrators and members of the Kurdish community apart after a demonstration in The Hague, a spokeswoman said.

"After a peaceful demonstration earlier, police intervened when a handful of members of the two groups clashed" elsewhere in the city, Judith van der Zwan told AFP.

"Two people were arrested," she said, but could not give further details.

Earlier, some 700 pro-Turkish demonstrators gathered at the city's central Malieveld sports field, brandishing Turkish flags and chanting slogans denouncing the Kurdish Workers' Union (PKK).

"We are not here to provoke," Turkish Platform in The Hague spokesman Ismail Gozuberk told Dutch national broadcaster NOS, with protesters saying they were demonstrating "against terrorism".

Tensions have been simmering between the two groups in the Netherlands after Turkey launched an army operation against the PKK after they carried out a series of attacks that killed 24 soldiers and injured 18 others in Cukurca town of Hakkari province near the Iraqi border on October 18.

Last week, five Kurds were arrested after a scuffle broke out with Turkish demonstrators at a Kurdish centre in Amsterdam, local media reported.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community took up arms for Kurdish independence in southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

© 2011 AFP

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