• Germany edition
 
Kurdish gathering turns violent in Mannheim
Photo: DPA

Kurdish gathering turns violent in Mannheim

Published: 09 Sep 2012 09:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Sep 2012 09:13 GMT+02:00

Police stopped the 14-year-old at the entrance to cultural festival on the city’s Maimarkt because he was carrying a forbidden flag, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

After security guards unsuccessfully tried to block him from entering the festival’s grounds, they called the police for backup.

Before long around 2,500 Kurds were in an hours-long stand-off with 600 police officers, the paper reported. The police spokesperson said the “outbreak of violence was enormous,” and added that he had never experienced something like it in his 30 years on the force.

Hundreds, “if not more than a thousand” people ran at the police, some throwing stones, water bottles, bricks and fireworks, a police spokesman told the paper.

The police used pepper spray and confiscated flags and T-shirts of banned organizations, along with four knives and a set of brass knuckle dusters.

The police spokesman said those being violent and rushing the police were supported by thousands of their fellow participants, and that they had “no chance” of calming the crowd. The area eventually cleared at around 8 pm.

The news outlet Tagesschau.de reported early indications that the violence could have been influenced by targeted propaganda, such as a rumours among the Kurdish participants that on Friday night police in Mannheim had mistreated a Kurdish demonstrator.

Various smaller incidents were reported during Friday as the Kurds gathered in Mannheim. Police stopped a march on Friday by a Kurdish youth group after some involved attacked Turkish-looking passersby.

One group waved a banned PKK flag and shouted slogans in support of the group banned and regarded by the authorities as terrorists.

Reinhold Gall, interior minister of the state of Baden-Württemberg said he was shocked by the incident, and that such events would have to be checked more closely before being allowed in the future, if they are allowed at all, Tagesschau reported.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/mbw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:45 September 9, 2012 by raandy
I suspect the authorities did expect trouble with a gathering of 40,000 Kurdish people, you would be obtuse to think otherwise. The police were overwhelmed by the degree of kaos, as one stated he had never seen this in his 30 years on the force.

Let this be a wake up call for the next gathering.
11:15 September 9, 2012 by smart2012
Kurds, Turkish, Germans. I thought there were no problems in Germany. The local, do u do it on purpose to publish articles supporting me just after a conversation on the topic happened the day before in the comment section? :)
11:45 September 9, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Simple solution ... DEPORTATION ... for the 2,500 and a Thousand Euro fine to the others ... Nothing justifies attacking law enforcement officers ...
12:21 September 9, 2012 by simski
"such events would have to be checked more closely before being allowed in the future, if they are allowed at all"

Yeah, let's just throw out the constitution and forbid cultural festivals if people with weird skin colors are involved.
12:33 September 9, 2012 by raandy
simski you think Kurdish people have weird skin color?
12:52 September 9, 2012 by smart2012
Raandy, I hope Simski is making a joke. Otherwise he is an idiot.
14:54 September 9, 2012 by Zubair Khan
Sad to know, in its own motherland the deprived community resorted to aggression that too on police of the country which accommodated them respectfully. This reminds me annual gatherings of Ahamdiyya Muslim Community Germany. From 1995 to 2010 the Muslim Community each year organized its annual religious gathering known as Jalsa Salana in maimarktgelände. Due to shortage of space in 2011 the community moved to DM Arena Karlsruhe. In the Ahamdiyya gathering the participants always remained between 30 to 40 thousands from Europe and elsewhere. Never ever any such chaos or disturbance occurred. Neighbours, police and city administration always praised the community. Since Ahamdiyya Community is lead by a Khalifa (Spiritual Supreme Head) and each member of the community shows unconditional allegiance and obedience to the supreme head as such probably no chance for such chaos and confusion.
17:07 September 9, 2012 by Anonym
We Turks would be happy to take these PKK sympathisers from Germany and be nice to them.
12:57 September 11, 2012 by raandy
smart2012 I don't think it was a joke ;-)
Today's headlines
Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel
Photo: DPA

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel

Around 160 car owners are stuck after a gas station's storage tanks were filled with the wrong fuel, causing an estimated €100,000 in damage. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights

UPDATE: In the second day of their strike, Lufthansa pilots have, as promised, extended their industrial action to include long-haul international flights until the end of Tuesday. READ  

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called on Ukraine's allies to help the war-scarred nation pay off its gas debts to Russia, amid concern over gas supplies this winter. READ  

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force
Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks at the World Health Summit in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force

At the World Health Summit in Berlin, the Ebola crisis took centre stage at talks meant to create plans for how to handle future outbreaks. READ  

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of
The Wiesbaden Museum in Hesse. Photo: DPA

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of

The Wiesbaden Museum was once a collection house for art stolen from Jewish owners by the Nazi. With one painting, they hope to right at least one wrong while bringing awareness to its ongoing restitution work. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'It's only an internship if you're learning'

'It's only an internship if you're learning'

How long should an intern work for without being paid? At least eight months, according to a ruling by a court in western Germany last week. JobTalk looks at the warning signs for abusive internships. READ  

Single parents, common law families on rise
Photo: DPA

Single parents, common law families on rise

The German family structure is changing, with nearly a third of every family no longer living in the "classic model" and big differences in what family looks like in the former East and West, statistics agency Destatis announced on Monday. READ  

Four arrested in raids against Isis
Photo: DPA

Four arrested in raids against Isis

Police raided 15 homes across Germany over the weekend and arrested four suspected supporters of the Islamic State (Isis). They are alleged to have smuggled a teenager and thousands of winter military clothes to the terrorist group's frontlines. READ  

Munich Refugee Crisis
'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'
Hassan, pictured outside the Bayernkaserne with two of his children, arrived in Munich from Syria. Photo: Mariane Schroeder

'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'

Around 300 refugees are arriving in Munich each day, but accommodation centres are full. With authorities struggling for answers, The Local meets those at the sharp end of the crisis. READ  

Train Strike
Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return
Photo: DPA

Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return

UPDATE: Deutsche Bahn trains are chugging along again after a 50-hour train strike cost the service "tens of millions" and brought travel headaches across the country, leaving millions of passengers struggling for transportation over the weekend as well as at least one mass brawl in its tracks. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Travel
This is the man who has stopped Germany's trains
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Expats: Should I stay or should I go?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Which expat foods do you miss the most?
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,464
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd