Thousands of Kurds and friends say 'lift the ban on PKK' in Berlin

Thousands of Kurds and their friends demonstrated in Berlin against the ban on the PKK. They demanded the ban to be lifted immediately.

The Initiative Against the PKK Ban promoted a demonstration in Berlin today. Thousands of Kurds and their friends demanded the lifting of the ban.

The crowd gathered in Berlin Hermannplatz in the early hours of the morning, and marched to Sonnenalle, Pannierstr, Glogauerstr, Wienerstr, Oranienstr and into Oranienplatz square where the demonstration turned into a rally.

Near Görlitzer station, the march was interrupted for a while, as the Berlin police wanted to remove the banners held by mothers criticizing the PKK ban.

The unfurling of the PKK flag and fireworks increased the enthusiasm of the crowd, which continued marching and chanting slogans.

Women Defend Rojava said that the PKK ban should be lifted, saying that law 129b, which was cited as the reason for the ban imposed on the PKK, was not only applied to Kurds but to all leftists.

A statement made on behalf of Roten Hilfe pointed out the illegal practices and detentions created by the PKK ban.

Azadi e.V activists read the names of Kamuran Yekta Vesek, Merdan K. Mustafa Çelik, Gökmen Çakır, Abdullah Öcalan and all other Kurdish political prisoners, who were imprisoned in Germany on the grounds of the PKK ban, and demanded the German state to release them.

Zübeyde Zümrüt: Stop criminalising the Kurds

Addressing the crowd, Kon-Med co-chair Zübeyde Zümrüt saluted the participants of the PKK's first congress on 27 November 1978, saying: "All the world's states are talking about the PKK today. The PKK fought for freedom against ISIS. The PKK is the legitimate representative of the Kurdish people. If European states and Germany want the Kurdish issue to be resolved, they should lift the PKK ban. We call on the newly elected government in Germany. Stop criminalizing the Kurds!”

Engin Sever: If you want peace, enter dialogue

Kon-Med co-chair Engin Sever salited the anniversary of the PKK and said: “Germany and other European states should thank the PKK instead of banning it. The PKK saved the peoples of the Middle East and European societies from ISIS. Isolation on Leader Apo and on the Kurdish people must come to an end. If they want peace they should enter dialogue.”

Hüseyin Yılmaz: The PKK is our honour

Speaking on behalf of the Organizing Committee, Nav-Berlin co-chair Hüseyin Yılmaz said: “I salute the rebirth day of Serok Apo, the guerrilla resisting in the mountains, our friends in the dungeons and our martyrs' families. A person can be wealthy, or can be a mayor, a deputy, etc. And later on, it may also lose all its material possessions. This is not a problem. However, if a person loses his honour and dignity, he cannot be reborn or live. The PKK is our honour. Leader Apo, the guerrillas, our friends in the dungeon and our martyrs made us rebirth and brought us to where we are today. I remember them all with respect and gratitude.”

Despite the heavy rain and the provocations of the police, the crowd stood firm until the end of the rally.