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Tensions with Turkey Zurich police intervene in Kurdish rally

The last major incident between Kurdish and Turkish groups took place in Bern last September

(Keystone)


Authorities in Zurich broke up an unauthorised demonstration by a group of Kurdish activists with tear gas and rubber bullets on Monday. 

The group was protesting outside the Turkish consulate in Zurich against current conditions for Kurds in Turkey. Police said one person was detained after the crowd threw stones, flags and other projectiles at the consulate building.

Police sealed off the area around the consulate in the late afternoon following a peaceful march through Zurich’s downtown on Monday morning by about 50 people, according to a police statement.

Some traffic and public transport in Zurich was temporarily suspended because of the incident.

Switzerland is home to about 120,000 people of Turkish origin, about half of whom are Kurds. Protests and clashes between the Turkish and Kurdish communities have taken place several times in the past.

The latest major incident was a protest march in Bern in September 2015, where several people were injured. It occurred during an authorised demonstration by the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD), a nationalist organisation close to Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP.

On Monday, dozens were killed as Turkish security forces battled militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, according to reports from the Turkish army and the region's main political party. It was the latest incident in a long history of conflict between Kurds and Turks in southeastern Turkey.

Freedom struggle or terror? PKK creates rift between Swiss Kurds and Turks

With around 120,000 residents of Turkish origin – about half of them Kurds – Switzerland has been affected by renewed violence between security ...


swissinfo.ch and agencies

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