SHARE
COPY LINK

POLICE

Five hurt during Kurdish and Turkish clashes in western Germany

Five people were injured in clashes between the Kurdish and Turkish communities in the western German city of Herne, police said, as Kurds demonstrated against Ankara's offensive in northeastern Syria.

Five hurt during Kurdish and Turkish clashes in western Germany
Broken glass at a Turkish cafe in Herne. Photo: DPA

Around 350 people were marching through the city centre late on Monday as part of a pro-Kurdish demonstration when they were “provoked with hand signals” by people drinking at a nearby kiosk, police said in a statement.

“Some of them stormed into the kiosk, attacked two people inside and injured them” as well as breaking a window, they added.

The demonstration continued and someone threw a bottle at the marchers from a Turkish-owned cafe as they passed.

“The reaction was very emotional and angry” as again several participants rushed into the cafe, breaking windows and furniture and injuring at least one person inside, as well as one of the police officers who intervened to stop the fighting.

Nevertheless, “the police were able to calm the situation” and the demonstration ended as planned when the marchers reached their destination in the centre.

Among the five people hurt was the organizer of the march, who was attacked when he tried to stop the violence.

Of the roughly three million people with Turkish nationality or roots living in Germany, around one million are Kurds.

Politicians regularly warn of tensions between the two communities, which have been stoked by Turkey's offensive into Kurdish-controlled northeast Syria.

READ ALSO: Turkish and Kurdish groups accuse each other of importing foreign conflict into Germany

Turkish man attacked in Berlin

Meanwhile in Berlin, local police said a man wearing a jacket with a Turkish flag was beaten by around 15 people, leaving him with a facial injury.

“According to the 30-year-old Turkish citizen, the men had assaulted him because of the jacket he was wearing which had a Turkish national flag on it,” said Berlin police in a statement of the incident on Monday evening.

The assailants spoke Arabic and German, added police.

Beginning Wednesday, Turkish troops moved into the zone controlled by Kurdish militias, which had helped a Western-led coalition fight jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) group but whom Ankara accuses of terrorism.

Berlin, along with European allies such as France, has condemned the offensive and stopped arms exports to Turkey.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLICE

German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.

SHOW COMMENTS