Belgium accused of fanning Kurdish riots: Brussels police crack down as Turks take up arms to attack PKK protesters

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The Independent Online
ANKARA (Reuter) - Turkey blamed Belgium yesterday for two nights of violence between supporters of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Turks living in Brussels. The Foreign Ministry summoned the Belgian charge d'affaires in Ankara to voice displeasure at the trouble in Brussels and renew demands for Belgium to act against the PKK.

'The Belgian authorities, which totally disregarded the feelings of Turkish citizens, brought PKK supporters into a district heavily populated by Turks and allowed them to demonstrate there, are responsible for the incidents,' it said in a statement.

'The Belgian authorities have prepared the ground for the occurrence of such incidents on their soil by not following the decision of France and Germany to ban the PKK,' it said.

More than 50 youths carrying knives, baseball bats and petrol bombs were arrested on Sunday when about 500 Turks protesting against the presence of Kurdish 'freedom marchers' in Brussels clashed with police. Eleven people were hurt on Saturday when police dispersed Kurds and Turks in the city's Turkish quarter.

In south-eastern Turkey, 22 people were killed in the first two days of the year, eight of them bus passengers shot in cold blood by PKK guerrillas. Four women and a man were killed in a house rocketed by PKK rebels in Dikbogaz village, in Siirt province. The toll also included seven rebels killed by security forces.

(Photograph omitted)

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